Whew! Here we are at the beginning of a new week and a new month! I love when month starts on Sunday or Monday! It’s just a great reminder of a chance to start fresh. That being said, happy Monday and happy February and happy Black History Month! I have so much going on this morning that I almost forgot to write this honestly. The good news though, I know exactly what I want to remind you guys this week. This week and kicking off this month, I everyone to focus on mindfulness.
Mindfulness by definition according to Oxford Languages by way of Google search is, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” So what does that mean for us? Mindfulness is a conscious practice of being completely in the here and now; being in each of your moments. It can be so easy to get caught up with the past, especially this month where people are going to be constantly reminding us black folk about all the things that we’ve been through. Just as easy as it is to get caught up though, it’s just as easy to get too far ahead of ourselves. Looking into the future is not an issue, but often enough we end up dwelling on it forgetting that where we currently are is exactly where we should be. Hell, for most of us, where we are is where we were hoping and praying to be a year ago and we’re not really enjoying each of our moments here because of being caught up or getting too far ahead of ourselves.
There are very simple mindfulness exercises that I try to do throughout the day. Firstly, I make sure that I try to journal everyday. It may seem like a thing I do just as a writing exercise, but really, it’s my chance to block out everything and just be in tune with the sounds I’m hearing and the thoughts racing through my head and everything that I’ve been feeling. It doesn’t have to even be a long journal, but just sitting down, turning my phone on Do Not Disturb and listening to some quiet music in the background really gives me a chance to sit with what’s going on around me and in my life in each moment. I recommend journaling to everyone. It doesn’t have to be pretty or organized, you can write it down on paper or type it up in a document or whatever works for you, but find some time in a day to sit and release everything going on around you. Tell your journal how you’re feeling, write down your prayers and goals, describe the things that you hear and see and smell and feel in that moment. This is a great way to practice mindfulness and a great release of pinned up energy. If you don’t know what to write, I recommend starting with the date, and then just take a deep breath and write ” START” and see what comes next.
Another great exercise I try to practice is physical mindfulness. You can do it when you first wake up in the morning or sometime through out the day. If you’ve ever watched “Midnight Gospel,” episode 8, then you may be familiar with this exercise. (If you haven’t watched it, I definitely recommend it if you can get past the graphics. It’s much like a podcast so the meat of the show is specifically in the conversations being had.) All you do really is acknowledge the different parts of your body. I start with my face; I close my eyes and take a deep breath, concentrating on moving the parts of my face, scrunching my brows, blinking a few quick times, wrinkling my nose and pursing my lips, and consciously acknowledging the fact that I can do these things. Then I move down to my neck and on down my body. In each of these movements, I thank God that I even can do these things. After giving purposeful movement to each physical part of my body, I tap into my senses; what do I smell, what can I hear or taste? It really only takes about 5 minutes, but it’s a great reminder that even if I feel like the smallest and most insignificant thing alive, I am still here, I’m still alive and capable of so many wonderful things. It’s a great grounding practice, being able to fully submit to the moment that you’re in.
There is peace and joy and appreciation to be found in mindfulness. It’s a way to remind yourself to remain present in the present, because that is the only thing you can control: the things you do in the very moment you’re in. So this week, I want you all to practice mindfulness. If you have or find a mindful exercise different than the two I suggested, feel free to comment and share them with us! Be blessed, be safe, be mindful and be on the lookout for what’s new to Cee Teagan! Have a great day and a great month. Remember, all you’re required to do is be, whatever that means to you.