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  • Writer's pictureEva Goulette

Escape the Chaos: Transforming 'Busy' into 'Blissful

In our fast-paced world, it's all too easy for our minds to become cluttered with worries, regrets, and anxieties. We often find ourselves trapped in a cycle of thoughts about the past or future, juggling multiple tasks, and succumbing to negative thought patterns that serve us no good. This state of a "Mind that is Full" can be overwhelming and even detrimental to our well-being. But there is a way out, a path to inner peace – mindfulness.

The Mind That is Full

When our minds are full, we are essentially living anywhere but the present moment. We become engrossed in reminiscing about the past or worrying about the future, rarely pausing to savor the beauty of the now. Our thoughts take control, dictating our emotions, and sometimes pushing us into a downward spiral of despair. In this state, we are unaware of what is happening in the present moment.

The Power of Mindfulness

On the contrary, when we practice mindfulness, we tap into a profound sense of peace, calm, and heightened awareness. Mindfulness allows us to anchor ourselves in the present moment by focusing on one of our five senses. It's a practice that can be seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, offering numerous benefits in return.

Discovering Mindful Moments

I, too, have walked this path from a mind that was full to a mind that is mindful. The key is to use your body as the anchor to the present. By concentrating on one of your senses, you can draw your attention into the here and now. It's about creating space and time in your busy day to reconnect with yourself. The results may surprise you; they certainly did for me.

One of my favorite ways to introduce mindful moments into my daily routine is during my commute. When I'm stopped at a red light, I take a deep breath and focus on the connection between my hands and the steering wheel. I run my fingers over the texture of the leather, noting its temperature. I shift my awareness to my shoulders and back, identifying where tension resides, and release it with my next exhale. This simple act has become a cherished part of my day, a moment devoted to my mindfulness practice.

Encouraging Others to Join the Journey

I also encourage my students to find their own mindful moments within their busy schedules. If the idea of setting aside 10 minutes for formal meditation seems daunting, don't worry – you can start small with mindful moments. Over time, you'll witness their impact on your well-being.

Here are a few examples of mindful moments you can seamlessly incorporate into your daily routine:

1. Washing Dishes:

Focus on the movements, the feel, and the soothing sound of the water. Let the sensory experience wash away your worries.

2. Brushing Your Teeth:

Feel the bristles of the toothbrush on each tooth, paying attention to the sensation. Listen to the gentle sound of the running water as you rinse.

3. In the Checkout Line at the Grocery Store:

Ground yourself by feeling your hands on the shopping cart handle. Focus on your breath, allowing it to calm your mind. Listen to the sounds around you – the rustling of bags, the hum of conversation, the beep of the cash register.

Creating a Meditation Jar

One of my favorite mindful tools to introduce to children is a meditation jar, also known as a mindful jar or calming jar. It is a simple tool that helps children calm down quickly and effectively.

The bottle itself is symbolic of the brain. The glitter symbolizes our thoughts. When we become overwhelmed, our thoughts become very jumbled, much like the glitter when we shake the jar.

When we watch the glitter slowly return to the bottom of the jar, our heart rate lowers, our breathing slows down, and our thoughts become calmer.

This is a wonderful mindfulness tool to make with your child. My favorite recipe is to use water, glitter, and clear Elmer's glue. You can buy small individual packets of glitter that come in a package of eight from most craft stores.

1. Fill the jar with water up to about an inch from the top.

2. Add the glitter.

3. Pour clear Elmer's glue while counting slowly to seven.

4. Put the lid on the jar, shake it, and watch the speed at which the glitter is falling. Glitter should take at least 60 seconds to reach the bottom.

5. Adjust by adding additional glue if needed to slow the glitter more.

6. Use hot glue to seal the lid shut once you have completed the project.

Mindfulness is not an elusive state of mind reserved for monks or gurus. It's a practical tool that anyone can use to find inner peace amidst the chaos of modern life. By embracing mindful moments throughout our day, we can gradually shift from a mind that is full to a mind that is mindful. These moments of presence have the power to transform our daily experience, reduce stress, and nurture a deeper sense of peace within ourselves. So, why not start today? Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, let go of the past and future, and fully embrace the beauty of the present moment. Your journey to inner peace begins now.

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