MINDFUL

Hey Guys!

This week I decided to change things up and do a sort of check up on my resolutions/ goals for the year with y’all on here. The resolution I’ll be focusing on today is mindfulness. (Depending on the feedback I get, I’ll decide on how to integrate these reflection posts with my fashion posts).

I’m a very avid planner so setting resolutions and goals is something I not only do yearly but also monthly and sometimes, weekly. One of the resolutions that has been continuously at the top of my list, is mindfulness. If you aren’t familiar with the term then let me break it down for you.

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different.

Enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes. (which it will)

Being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way. (which it won’t)”

-James Baraz

It simply means being present in the now- not being preoccupied with the past or the future. This is a practice that is sometimes very difficult if you’re someone who suffers from anxiety, an overachiever, constantly on their phone or like many of us, caught up in working towards your dreams or goals. Personally, I realized that my problem was that I was either so fixated on this dream or picture perfect future I wanted that I forgot about the now or I was constantly on my phone and just not there. The former especially led to a lot of anxiety in situations where I should have been enjoying myself but instead was preoccupied on all the things I needed to do.  The latter, on the other hand, became a habit I picked because of being someone shy or less outgoing among extroverts.

On discovering the cause of the problem, then it became easier to find solutions to it. So far, there are two practices that have helped me become more mindful, even though I’m not fully there yet.

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  • Having my wallpaper as “Be Here Now”.

This is a pretty simple way of reminding yourself to realign according to your goal or target. Considering I’ll pick up my phone to check the time or the weather forecast or even just look or barely glance at it each time it makes a noise, I’ll see my goal each time. It’ll be a subconscious but constant reminder to practice mindfulness.

This, however, can be tailored to suit you so perhaps you could print it out and put it up on your bedroom wall or write in a notebook you use frequently.

In addition, this helps a lot if, like me, you have struggled with being on your phone a lot in social situations. This is because, each time you pick up your phone to check your social media,  to avoid mingling perhaps, you’ll see the wallpaper which will help you check yourself and put the phone away.

However, if your phone use is so excessive that you can barely hold a face to face conversation without constantly checking your phone, then you should try one of these apps: Checky or Moment. These apps monitor the number of times you unlock your phone or logg in to your social media and you can even set daily limits to control this time in a day. (Checky is available for both Android and Apple)

  • Taking a 21 Day Mindfulness Challenge.

Last month, I took this challenge that gave me daily tasks to train me on focusing not only on the now but also on the everyday mundane tasks. One of the day’s challenges highlighted a situation that I’m sure many of us having been in: when you’ve eaten a whole meal and you don’t remember what the food tasted like.

In these 21 days, I learnt to eat, breathe and even walk with intention. It may sound much to you but the food really tastes better, the air fresher and life in general seems better. Simple tasks like walking turns into feeling your feet touch the ground and really listening to the sounds around. Life simply becomes more beautiful, happy and at peace become states easier to be. You begin to see God in everything, everywhere.

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So, for me, mindfulness has been going great and I’m really glad to have chosen to work on it this year. For anyone who’s reflecting on this past (almost) half of the year, then I’d definitely recommend taking this up as a goal for the next phase of this year. Also if you’re interested in the challenge I took, drop me an email (michellemmalonza@gmail.com) or DM on Instagram (@__littlebutterfly) then I’ll send you the details.

P.S. The pictures used are of spaces I have recently occupied to emphasize what this post is centered around: recognizing and being present in our current spaces.

Remember, “He will finish what He has started.” Philippians 1:6

Be love and Be light,

Michelle Malonza.

 

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