I have had this post in the pipeline for the last few weeks, whilst I’ve been working away frantically (call me last minute Minnie) to get my coursework done for a postgraduate course that I’ve been doing for the last two years.
During that time, I’ve realised even more why this is important and why I wanted to talk about it…
I’ve found that mindfulness has been an essential part of my daily routine and health.
Mindfulness can be described as being in the present moment and paying attention to your experience without judging it.
There are many free resources for formal mindfulness practices which are fantastic, but there are times when it feels difficult to make time to sit and practice, either because of where we are in our heads at that particular time or due to time pressures.
For me, this is where momentary mindfulness becomes important – being aware and present in my day to day tasks and really seeing, feeling, smelling, noticing the details of that experience, without worrying about whether it is good or bad. Noticing my thoughts and how I respond to them has helped me to grow a lot and being present for these little day to day moments has been an important step along this road.
Being truly present as I run a bath, hearing and seeing the beautiful water splash into my bath, being grateful for my good fortune in having all of the requisite things in order to take a soothing bath… adding in some beautiful salts (courtesy of Inner-Soul Organics) and appreciating the smell, thinking about the journey the product took to me, who made it, where the ingredients came from, noticing my thoughts and feelings in that moment… these are all elemental aspects of mindfulness.
Other parts of my beauty and wellness routine are helpful for practicing compassion, acceptance, love and care for myself. Observing how I feel in the morning as I cleanse my face, or how I feel in the evening as I take off my make up are all moments where being present is of benefit for me.
When I find it difficult to find time for much else, using these times to be present (rather than ruminating about what I’m doing later, worrying about x or y, etc) really helps me to feel grounded.
5 deep breaths as I put a warm flannel on my face is a mini meditation that makes the morning rush of “to-do’s” feel less overwhelming.
Of course, this is nothing new… there are many mindful shower scripts and suggestions for incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life. However, I think that using natural products helps to add another element to this, by helping to connect us to the plants and minerals that form an important part of our products and because the act of making a conscious choice about what we buy, in terms of ethics and ingredients, is mindful.
Finally, touching our bodies, as we apply oil or massage a cleansing balm, with care and appreciation and without judgement, can’t fail to be a good thing and to enhance our sense of wellbeing.
I’ve been trying to use self massage as I moisturise my body, rather than rushing through it like I normally do and feel more connected and calm when I do so.
What are the parts of your routine that help you feel connected and present?
no mud, no lotus