Years ago, meditation and mindfulness practice changed my life in ways I had never imagined were possible.
I'm not talking about increased productivity, the ability to make more money in my business, or some sort of mind-altering evolution, though. These are all things we chase in hopes of feeding our ego so that we can solve the "real" problem- that we feel a "void" within ourselves and we think we need something to "fill it up".
What mindfulness and meditation did do for me was:
- Teach me how to become friends with myself and handle the inner dialogue that brings us down
- Show me how to more skillfully manage the challenges of everyday life including my once heavy stress and anxiety
- Give me the ability to tap into a deep sense of joy through cultivating a sense of gratitude and appreciation for life
- And come in touch with a basic sense of peace that's beyond the ebbs and flows of daily life.
Mindfulness is the first form of meditation I suggest someone start with because it's the most fundamental of meditation practices and easy to learn (although not always easy to practice, particularly in the beginning).
In a basic sense, it's really just us becoming more aware, more present, in our daily life. However, when done with a sense of intent focus in a ritualized manner, any discursive mindfulness practice can become a deeply nourishing form of meditation.
You can do anything in mindfulness. And it's because you can do anything in mindfulness that it’s those things which we do most often, each and every day, that make up the core mindfulness practices: breathing, walking, eating, and really anything else to do with the body.
However, there’s more to it than that. These foundational exercises also happen to be some of the best mindfulness and meditation techniques for beginners as well. They're simple, straightforward and relatively easy to learn and each has its own unique property which means there is a practice that fits essentially every type of beginner.