What Does Mindfulness Mean?

Mindfulness means to awaken your sensory experience NOW.

What happened just now when you saw the big, red-lettered “NOW”? 

Did your eyes widen?

Did you think, my! This must be important! 

Did you quickly recognize a liking or disliking of the color, or did it snap you back into what you were reading? 

We strive to recognize thoughts, feelings, and sensory experiences as we interface with life. 

The body is the pillow for the mind to land on. Susan Morgan

In Paul Fulton’s article from the International Conference on Buddhism and Science, The Scientific Study of Happiness: The Medicalization of Suffering and the Medicalization of Mindfulness, he shares this play from poet and playwright Paul Reps called Upstreaming:

A river. Summer.

A man stands waist-high in the water, facing upstream.

He stands there all day.

Indrinking earth and air.

He is there the next day.

Villagers notice him.

A young woman ventures to bring him some brown rice.

He accepts it without changing positions.

Others join him.

Some philosophers come to confer on the bank without

Entering the water.

Scientists take the river’s temperature and

Decide the man exemplifies some profound truth

Or other. They name it upstreaming.

News of this spreads.

People come from far away to stand in the river.

They enjoy it.

No one talks,

The water is cool,

The wind like wine.

It is good to be barefoot

And to look into the sky.

Standing on the river’s edge is vastly different experience than actually standing in the cool, living breathing river. I would say so. In this case, however, it is fairly easy for this man to be aware of the wind, water and feel of the sand beneath his feet because that is all he is doing, right! 

How can we cultivate this awareness as we hustle and bustle through our day?

Not everyone can put aside the concerns of the day to feel the wind and water! Working with a trained mindfulness specialist is a useful and empowering way to learn how to develop a practice that lets you focus on the now to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your own mental health as well as your relationships with others. 

Lifeologie Counseling Dallas therapist Jennifer Landon, LPC, trained at the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy, where she learned mindfulness training and also became a certified Enneagram coach. She incorporates the mindfulness practices of compassion and loving-kindness while addressing the issues of anxiety, depression, body-focused repetitive behavior, grief, loneliness, fear, shame, feeling stuck, and overall life challenges. If you live in Texas and want to learn what mindfulness really is and experience what it could mean in your life,  consider one of Jennifer’s groups. She also offers individual counseling where she teaches these concepts to her clients. Call (214) 357-4001 to learn more about working with Jennifer or request an appointment with her in person or via telehealth. 

You can also read more about Lifeologie’s mindfulness counseling in our resource here!

About Jennifer Landon

An expert in the (not so rare) condition known as trichotillomania and dermotillomaia otherwise known as body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB), Jennifer is one of the few clinicians in the state who can effectively address these difficult diagnoses. She addresses these and other issues using psychoeducation,  eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), behavior modification, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), emotional regulation, somatic energetics, psychotherapeutic yoga, enneagram of transformation, mindfulness, and meditation.

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