“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”
At the start of January, I committed to practicing a single mindfulness method: abdominal breathing. I thought that sticking to one method would help make my mindfulness practice more consistent. It turns out I was wrong…but also kind of right.
Yeah, I know I just contradicted myself. Let me explain.
I did a pretty terrible job of practicing mindfulness last month. Outside of my daily sitting meditations, staying mindful took a backseat to some of my other priorities. I even noticed this lack of focus halfway through the month, but unfortunately didn’t do much to change it afterward.
Having a mindfulness method did not make it significantly easier to practice mindfulness. Or at least it didn’t help me remember to be mindful.
I mentioned this in my mid-month reflection, but having a mindfulness method DID prove useful when I actually remembered to be mindful. It was a great way to not only bring my attention back to the present moment but calm my nerves as well.
The only disadvantage I found in using abdominal breathing was when I was sick. Not being able to breathe properly made those abdominal breaths quite challenging, if not impossible at times.
Renewing My Focus
Last month taught me that the only way to be consistently mindful is to maintain a strong commitment to mindfulness throughout the day. I did exactly the opposite. I made a verbal commitment to mindfulness, but in reality placed my work and other concerns above my practice.
Even though January was not a very mindful month for me, I’m still not discouraged. The fact that I’m aware of my lack of mindfulness actually shows that my practice has progressed over the years. I also recognize that January was an exceptionally hectic month for me. Expecting to all of a sudden master mindfulness while drastically increasing my workload wasn’t very reasonable. My mindfulness practice is sure to be a lifelong journey that will require me to be very patient with myself.
Instead of choosing a new mindfulness method for February, I’m going to stick with abdominal breathing. I want to see how beneficial it can be if I actually do it consistently.