One of my new year’s resolutions for 2016 is to be more mindful. Mine and everyone else on the planet, right? I mean being mindful in today’s busy and over stimulating world proves more and more challenging. I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life where mindfulness has eluded me for weeks at a time. It’s like I’ll wake up after weeks of embodying whatever is the opposite of mindfulness and realize I’m closer kin to a robot than to a human being. Can you relate? If not, count your blessings, and please just keep it to yourself.
Mindfulness: What does it look like? What is it not?
So I’ve been researching mindfulness and pondering what it might mean to be more mindful in this brand new year for me as business owner, wife, and mother of two seemingly high maintenance children. When I look at the definition of mindfulness, I tend to think it means being more present in a given moment not just with those around me but also in regards to myself. So, I assume this means I will work on being more present and listening more intently when communicating with my loved ones. I’ll be more attentive to the sensory signals the people I love and physically surround myself with are sending me, as opposed to all the other signals that typically distract me from being present and listening intently. I mean, there are times, when my children could tell me the house is on fire, and I could respond, with something like, “sure thing, honey.” I liken it to when you were learning to read. You could go through the motions of reading the words, but in the end you had no idea what they meant. I often go through the motions of hearing the words of those around me, and even respond to those words, without ever listening and understanding them. I want less of this in 2016.
Mindfulness also can mean being more attentive to your own true feelings. So, I also need to be more attentive to the sensory signals within myself. I need to listen to my true feelings, and learn to communicate them with those around me when it’s appropriate. Or sometimes I think I may just need to sit with them, and know that it’s ok to feel however I’m feeling at the moment. As a mother and wife, I spend so much time trying to be attentive to how others are feeling, that I often neglect myself. In 2016, I’d like to be more mindful of my true self, and the feelings that are there. I’d like to respect my true self.
So project mindfulness 2016 ultimately means I’ll listen more intently this year. I’ll use touch to connect with people more. A pat on the hand, a hug, a kiss on the cheek. I’ll venture out of my head, and into a place of mutual presence with those around me. I’ll try more, to truly connect with others. I’ll also practice stillness and make time to enjoy the quiet and notice it when it happens. I’ll intentionally make time for it, when I notice I need it. I’ll take time for myself. Listen to myself. And respect myself and my needs more.
Mindfulness: Why do I crave it?
With all the technology, and conflict, and busyness of modern day life, I am more distracted and over-stimulated than ever. As I gain an ability to connect more with the world around me at any and all times, I’ve become less able to focus and connect on the people right in front of me.
I think instinctively, or unconsciously, I know I need more. I know I am missing something, and thus I crave activities that ground me. Activities that promote mindfulness. I crave yoga, meditation, spas, and just quietness and stillness in these moments where I suddenly become aware of how disconnected and strung out I have become.
When I take time for these mindful promoting activities, which ultimately are about me taking care of me, I can then connect more deeply with those around me.
As I write all this in first person, I don’t think it pertains just to me. I believe it is a cultural phenomenon. I mean ultimately as a society, we’ve become so busy, we don’t take care of ourselves, and if we can’t care for ourselves, how can we care for those around us. It goes back to the old mantra: if you don’t love yourself first, you can’t love those around you.
As a mother of two, I can go through the motions of caring for my children, but if I haven’t taken care of myself, it’s not real. I’m exhausted, resentful, and generally unpleasant while I’m doing it.
Mindfulness: How can we use Essential Oils to promote mindfulness?
It’s just recently that I’ve begun to explore more deeply the benefits of essential oils when it comes to mindfulness. In short therapeutic grade essential oils have various properties that can be calming, invigorating, peaceful, etc. When inhaled the essential oil molecule attaches to a receptor neuron that travels through the olfactory system to the limbic system, where in short our emotions are stored. When the limbic system receives the input the oil invokes, it then creates neurochemicals that are sent throughout the body to respond in the desired way.
Taking the time to learn about essential oils and their therapeutic benefits, and then incorporating them into our daily lives, by diffusing various oils throughout the day, can thus be very beneficial for maintaining a state of mindfulness.
The very act of choosing an oil, provides not only that moment for me to stop and recognize what’s happening inside of me, but it also, once diffused, provides me with the therapeutic benefits of the oil itself.
Mindfulness: How can I get started?
There are a lot of essential oils on the market. First you need to educate yourself on essential oils you may find beneficial, and how to use them safely (to register for one of my upcoming online classes, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me by visiting my Facebook page: Terra Tribe Essential Solutions). Second, be sure you are using oils that are tested to ensure purity and potency for optimum therapeutic benefits. Third, invest in a quality diffuser, as diffusing is the most effective way to engage the limbic system. If you have questions about which diffuser is right for you, feel free to contact me for suggestions.
Lastly, join me in truly becoming a more mindful person in 2016.