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Starting the New Year with Mindfulness

Starting the New Year with Mindfulness

Mindfulness. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.

 

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

 

How to practice mindfulness 2021

As an old year ends and a new one begins, I’d love to invite you to join me in doing a simple practice that helps us recognize this transition and honor all that has happened and all that awaits each of us. You might want to have a few tissues or a journal handy. I find this practice brings so many emotions to the surface, making me teary and grateful and excited to be alive all at once. I hope you find it similarly powerful.

 

 

  • Sit comfortably, relax your body, and close your eyes.
  • Slowly, gently, breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
  • Now, imagine that you are breathing in all of 2019 and what transpired for you, bringing the whole year into your lungs with each breath.
  • Survey your memories as they come in on your breath and fill your lungs, catching glimpses of the year’s high and low moments.
  • Allow yourself to feel the good, bad, disappointing, marvelous, wondrous, thanking everything that life brought to you this year.
  • Feel the fullness of the year, savoring these moments of reflection.
  • Let it all go. With a few deep, long exhales, let it all go.
  • Experience the tides of your breath a few times, in and out, and then rest, sensing the air coming in through your nostrils and flowing out.
  • Let your breath flow naturally, effortlessly.
  • Next, imagine a field of snow, freshly fallen all around you, pure, expectant, inviting.
  • Allow your heart to swell and your ears to attune: What is calling to you this year? Where does your heart long to go? Feel and sense deeply.
  • When you are ready, let your eyes flutter open: Welcome to a new beginning.

 

Take some time to take note — and ideally, write down — some of what came up for you during your meditation. What thoughts and memories burbled to the surface? What feelings came up for you? What made you smile? Feel calm or nourished? Are there things you feel relieved to let go of and leave in the past? What direction called to you in the snow? I hope you’ll take a moment to write it down and allow the message of your heart to surface.

 

 

Many people have lost contact with their bodies and no longer notice emotions or more subtle feelings at all. This is, however, a key requirement for enabling us to look after ourselves. Mindfulness meditation and yoga help us to perceive the moment and ourselves, to be present and to accept what is there. Mindfulness promotes self-regulation.

 

Would you like to improve your mindfulness and increase your feeling of well-being? The website (German only) of the German Centre for Mindfulness offers guides and videos on the topic of mindfulness, how you can practice mindfulness in everyday life, mindfulness at the office, mindfulness against stress... And in case you only need some mindfulness inspiration, you can just read our article "10 Meditation Instagram Accounts to Follow for Insta-Zen Vibes" or follow the 7 days of Mindful Meditation by Alo Moves.

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