I have noticed from my mindfulness teaching that the majority of people tend to have a preference towards formal or informal mindfulness practice. Both are very helpful to bring into your life and it is often useful to notice which one you tend to do more. From when I was first introduced to mindfulness my preference and most practised was formal, seated mindfulness each day from anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes. I did notice this seeped into my daily life too so I was naturally more informally mindful – i.e. noticing where my attention was throughout the day.
This weekend I’ve been pretty busy with work, social events, shopping, seeing family etc. as we all often are. I was finding it a struggle to fit in my formal practice, however I realised that I could fit some in but maybe more informally. So, on Saturday when I was doing a 15 minute walk to the train station for a night out in Nottingham I decided to walk mindfully (I noticed the feeling of my legs and feet, which part of my feet made first contact with the ground, sounds around me, people I passed, things I saw all the time noticing when my attention drifted to thoughts and gently bringing it back to noticing these “real” things). Similarly, today for my practice I was fussing Bella my cat as was conscious of being out all day – so I used this as a 15 minute practice (noticing the feel of her fur, sound of her purring, warmth and weight of her body on my lap and sharpness of her claws as she padded my knees!)
You can truly choose to be mindful about any activity you are doing. Maybe give it a go yourself – cooking, walking, brushing your teeth, eating, showering, exercising, driving etc., etc. These are all informal mindfulness practices where we bring our attention to our senses whilst we do them and gently move away from the “chitter chatter” that is often in our heads.
I may try mindful cooking next – although to do that I may need to learn how to cook first 😉
This weeks mindful reminder is written by Emma x
Roz and I have created an app and it is FREE to download for a limited time.
It features a variety of guided practices, stories, FAQs and resources to support your own practice. Enjoy!
You can also find them in the stores by searching: Present Mind Mindfulness