Mindfulness and the effect it has on exploring.
At Wayward, we believe that exploring can be best experienced when we choose to be mindful. Everyone has a different definition of what it means to be truly mindful and every book in your local Barnes & Noble feel they can sell you the secrets to achieve said mindfulness. Today we want to spend some time and give some tips on how we think mindfulness influences exploration.
For the sake of this piece we are going to identify mindfulness as: The ability to slow down and acknowledge the moment you’re in, and embracing it fully.
Being mindful is something that is very difficult to do in 2018 America. We constantly feel the buzz of our phone in our pockets. We all feel the weight of deadlines, and the rush to own more, and be more. But choosing to be mindful and explore does the opposite, providing a much needed oasis for the soul.
In this blog we want to break down 4 of our favorite practices to try and be more mindful:
Meditation and prayer is a great way to slow down the rhythm of your life. We enjoy centering ourselves to start the day with 5 minutes of prayer/meditation. There are TONS of ways to meditate and don’t think there is a real “right” or “wrong” way to go about it. We like centering prayer/meditation that has you repeat a word for a given period of time causing you to really try to visualize what that means for you in your life and your mind’s eye.
Meditation can be a very powerful tool to help anchor you to reality while acknowledging that we are all specks of dust walking around on a bigger speck of dust in the vast universe. We find that the big benefits from meditation to exploration is that it opens our minds to the beauty that is really all around us. From craftsmanship in a fine piece of furniture, to a tree that you can hang your hammock on, there is infinite beauty around us if we are open to see it.
There are plenty of apps to help all you new yogis with this practice, but we recommend Headspace. It has simple exercises and a pretty good selection of calming white noise for you to start your meditative journey!
Music for the soul –
One of our other favorite ways to truly soak in the moment is to have that perfect playlist while on a hike, walk around town or going to the Post Office. Music is an incredible enhancer, or distraction. It either seasons the meat of exploration, or is a salt shaker with a loose lid that spills all over your food, ruining a nice steak. Be aware of what truly brings you peace for your activity.
For this practice to truly work, know ahead of time what activity or type of exploration you desire to engage within that moment. Also, be free to be yourself when it comes to crafting that perfect playlist. If Metallica fills your mind with peace, that seems odd to us, but go do it. If it’s instrumental, rap, or even electro swing, as long as it brings peace to your soul and enhances the experience around you, do it.
Journaling isn’t just for high school girls in love with a guy named Bobby. It’s an actual discipline that requires attention, focus and a desire to sponge up every moment passing by. Journaling is also not a fixed practice in that there are laws to what makes a journal “good” and one “bad”. However, a journal should always achieve the goal of making you reflect on the little moments of exploration in your life.
Memory is a fickle thing, but journaling helps us etch the memories we form into some form of stone. And it’s almost always the little moments that we look back on in life and wonder “what happened to make me feel that way? Can I feel that again?” It’s the little moments of accidentally taking a wrong turn and seeing that sunset, the little conversation with a cashier at Kroger that made you feel happy, or even the little things that don’t go to plan but turn out even better than expected.. At the end of life, we don’t get to bring anything with us, which is fine, because great memories are the most precious thing and a journal allows us to give them the respect they deserve.
Now, we know that you are probably reading this on a phone and some of our suggestions above involve apps or a music streaming service, but sometimes you just have to completely disconnect. Exploring isn’t always going to extraordinary places, it can be going to ordinary places and noticing the extraordinary details. Going to the grocery store without your phone, or deleting social media allows us to disconnect from something we think is real, and instead plug into the real beauty around us.
This doesn’t even have to be for a full day. What if you set a restriction on social media after 7PM? Being on our phones all night can make us feel sluggish, unproductive and fill our spirits with information instead of creating space. Put some simple guidelines on how you interact with social media and see what changes.
If you need something more extreme check out the Light Phone. It’s a phone that uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone so you can still get all your calls, without all the distraction. We don’t have one, but have heard great things!
Mindfulness is essential to exploration, it allows us to stop passing through life and to actually explore what makes it special. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you are, exploration is a mindset more than a destination.
Please share any mindfulness tips you have below so our community can try them out!