06-21-2017 08:33 PM
Mindfulness is difficult to translate into a written definition because it is much more a practice and experience, than an abstract concept. It is a way of being – i.e. mindfulness is about being engaged in the present moment, rather than fixating attention on the past or the future. For example, if you are having a difficult conversation with a teenager and you notice yourself becoming caught up on issues that happened in the past or worried about possible future consequences, remaining mindful would mean staying focused and committed to the present moment experience – even if it’s uncomfortable – without slipping into judgement.
Mindfulness is a continuous process of engaging in the present moment – the sights, sounds, tastes, textures and smells happening around you, and the thoughts, emotions and sensations happening within you.
I like to think of mindfulness as being the observer - the position of witnessing and engaging with what's happening without getting swept away by distractions.
06-21-2017 08:34 PM
06-21-2017 08:35 PM
Absolutely @taokat - it's useful to use words and metaphors that resonate with them. For the teenagers who come to see me who are into music or sports, we often use talk about the experience of them being on the soccer field or listening to their favourite band
06-21-2017 08:36 PM
Can I ask @Emily_May, is mindfulness then being aware of our emotions and things coming up for us, but keeping with what is relevant in that moment?
Is it also about being with our emotions and naming them. We communicate a lot about our emotions, but they can be emotions brought up by past things too.
06-21-2017 08:37 PM
Any interaction with a teenager is about fostering connection and building a relationship. Mindfulness allows us to do that because we are present and available to them. We all want to be heard and valued, and when that happens we are open and receptive to what that person has to say.
06-21-2017 08:40 PM
@taokat - being with the present moment within us (thoughts, emotions, sensations) and around us (sounds, sight, textures, taste, smells) is all part of mindfulness.
Both what is happening within us and what is happening around us can grab our attention and take us away from what is. The process of returning to the present moment is what mindfulness is all about. It can often help to name or label our experiences as a way of noticing them, and then letting them go