6 Ways to Harvest the Benefits of Mindfulness
August 3, 2017
Harvesting is all about picking and collecting the best of the crop. It is the practice of selecting carefully. Mindfulness teaches us how to be better selectors, to be picky for the sake of something great and nourishing. Here are 6 ways to practice being picky in a mindful way:
Choose Your Teachers
While it is sound practice to walk through life allowing the lessons to come via favorite and challenging teachers alike, choosing the ones that really resonate is an empowering trust-fall into self-discovery. Whether you’re looking to dive deep into a yoga practice, really commit to a morning meditation practice, take up some form of dance or learn the art of nonviolent communication, find a teacher that not only inspires you, but is grounded enough to teach you how to get where they are, too. Finding idols might be easier, but ultimately isn’t sustainable.
Choose Your Foods
We are what we eat is a famous mantra for good reason! Choosing nutritious foods that foster self-healing, growth and equanimity supports a spiritual life expressed in a physical (and hungry) body. Picking out foods that support your particular health status, activity level and needs is an extreme act of self-care and can double as a seed for fostering local economy and relationships with vendors, farmers or at the least, your neighbors, depending on where you by your food.
Who you keep close is a choice which will influence your mental, emotional and maybe even your professional wellbeing. This is an area of your life where careful discernment can be tricky, but is vital! Weed out anyone who doesn’t serve your bigger intention of wellbeing. This doesn’t mean cutting off anyone who doesn’t think and act like you. Rainforests are abundant because of the inherent diversity in their ecosystems. But challenge yourself to look honestly at your friends, who you talk with at work and the people you live with. Set boundaries for yourself around how far you’ll indulge topics that trigger old habits or types of relationships that are one-sided or leave you feeling drained. Choosing how much you will engage and how will either enhance the quality of your day or diminish it. Choose with care!
Collect Special Moments
Mindfulness teaches us how to remain in the moment when the mind tends to drift or projects itself onto other people. Collect moments by reaping the total experience of them while you’re actually in them. Bring your 5 senses together in the present as often as you can. Put the phone down while you’re waiting in line or driving. Make more eye contact with other people and really listen when you’re listening to music or news or others. Making this a habit with the mundane moments will only make the really special moments that much more amazing!
Reap the Rewards of Inner Calm
Through yoga and meditation, an overall feeling of calm and peace of mind is powerful enough to keep us coming back regularly. When you tap into that sense of “center,” it is that much easier to get there again. Harvesting the rewards of this muscle memory means that otherwise stressful moments like work deadlines, traffic, etc. become less irritating. Keep up with your practices to enjoy the fruits of your labor all year long.
Gather with Like Minded People
Connecting with other mindfulness practitioners can foster communities that may potentially seed generations of great karma. Choosing to gather with like-minded people of a conscious persuasion means enjoying a social life that is less manic, less drama-driven, more thoughtful and more inspired. This includes choosing to gather with people who appreciate and respect when you just want to be alone or can hold space for you while you figure out how to navigate your own growth cycles. Pick how you spend your free time carefully.