A few weeks ago I wrote ‘A Day of Mindfulness‘; since becoming a mother and receiving my Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) diagnosis, I have come to learn more than ever, that I need to slow down the pace and become more aware of the present moment.
My daily mindfulness is practiced whilst outdoors, in the place I feel most at ease and it is my ‘Mindful Walking’ that has really helped me, my condition and it has allowed me to find a deeper connection with myself and the world around me.
Most days, I walk with my daughter and our dog; our walks aren’t particularly quiet, however, I still practice mindfulness just as effectively as if I was sitting indoors in silence. In fact, I find as I walk and become increasingly aware, my mind grows quieter.
Step out of my head
Sitting indoors, I often feel trapped in a mental fog which is why, rain or shine, you will find me outdoors.
It isn’t until I take myself off for a long walk in the woods, neighbouring fields and footpaths, that I step out of the perpetual cycle of thoughts in my head.
It is as simple as changing the scenery around me that makes me change my focus.
Connect with the environment
I can be chatting to my daughter, or calling my dog, however, there is a deep awareness that goes beyond my walking and talking.
I choose to focus on my breathing, the natural world around me, and it is in that moment, with people, or by myself that I am truly present, aware and taking in the environment.
Walking with others, offers some time to communicate and reflect with them too.
My daughter and I, will often stop just to take things in. We will talk about what we can see, smell and hear.
It is great for her, but having her insight also provides me with another viewpoint. She will often point something else out that I haven’t even taken time to notice.
Get to know yourself
Since becoming a mother, I have a newfound respect for myself and my body.
With mindfulness, I have established a deeper connection between my mind and body. This has helped me embrace my body as I take my daily walk.
Weekly pilates sessions and mindful walks have also made me more aware of my posture and balance and with every step I take I feel that I am getting a better understanding and awareness of who I really am.
Racing around was part of my daily routine; taking a walk and being truly mindful about every step, resulted in me becoming more aware of myself.
There is no reason to race around, enjoy each moment and remember that it isn’t and shouldn’t be about how fast you go or reaching a destination, it is about how deeply you feel and how conscious you become.
Mindfulness is a practice; it is a skill that develops over a long period of time. However, the more you practice, the more it becomes a part of you.
It is this use of mindfulness that allows your practice to spill over into every area of your life, focusing on the simplest, smallest moments and giving you a much deeper awareness.
I found the initial practice when I told myself that I had to be seated much harder, however, since I adopted mindfulness in my daily walks, a daily activity that we all can manage on a daily basis. I was able to practice more regularly, with no pressure and gradually, this mindfulness became a part of everything I do.