To me, if one of your goals is to live clutter-free so you can live your most-desired life, mindfulness is a key ingredient. When we go through our days without intention or without a real awareness, hours pass by quickly without us reaching any of the goals we had in our hearts. And then, when we realize we've squandered the time away, we often shame ourselves and the cycle continues.
Mindfulness as defined by Merriam-Webster is the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.
Being mindful is being in the moment and also having clarity on what your intentions are in those moments. The mind is complex and the roadmap of our mind is more like the picture below than a nice straight line.
Being in the present moment is not something that came easy to me in my younger years as my mind bounced around from idea-to-idea often. And, my emotions seemed to swing me from having a great day to a bad day within a few minutes. Our mind is powerful and in time, with practice, you can help the mind wander less, get distracted less and relax more. Things I was definitely looking for!
While my mind still wants to wander and my emotions still want to drive the day, what's different for me now is that I have learned ways to help me slow down a bit, be more intentional and use tools and techniques to keep my mind and body at a more peaceful state. It is at this more peaceful state that allows me to be more creative, more present and enjoy my life more.
Below are some of the tools I use to help me mind my mind:
daily morning ritual - gratitude + prayer
I've been a morning person my entire life. It's when I have the most energy and when my mind is clearest. When I was younger, I would use this morning time to jump right into work trying to get as much done as possible.
With time, burn out and failure mixed with a little grace, I've learned that I'm better if I spend some time each morning in a quiet state of reflection. I usually write down what I'm grateful for, any prayers I have and the big things I'd like to accomplish for the day.
Doing this each morning allows me to be more intentional about my day and enter it in a more peaceful and calm way. As a business owner and a mother of two, I might not get the amount of quiet time I'd always prefer, but to me a little quiet time and a little reflection is better than none at all.
As much as I can, I like to get outside and take a walk in the morning. It helps me clear my head, appreciate the grandness of the world and get my legs moving. This is important for me because I can get extremely focused on my to do list and almost forget there is anything else around me.
In addition to my morning walk, especially on the really hectic days, I try to get outside for some sort of quick break. This break allows me to do a mini reset and allows me to refocus my efforts on the priorities I plan to accomplish the rest of the day.
As a busy mom and entrepreneur, there is always a lot competing for my attention. For me, a planner helps to keep me organized and focused throughout the day.
Finding a planner that worked for me took years of experimenting. But I'm happy to say that I'm a bullet journal convert. The bullet journal allows me to keep everything in one spot and I'm able to customize it to my personal needs. A bullet journal has helped me so much personally that I created downloaded bullet journal pages to help those just starting out and not wanting to spend time drawing.
The way I use my planner to help me stay mindful is that when I find myself drifting, I am able to take a deep breath, look at my planner and remind myself what I had set as the important tasks for the day.
What I love about mindfulness is that it's just a practice. It's not something we need to perfect. It's simply a set of tools to help us be more present so we can enjoy and live our most desired life. And for that alone, I'm grateful.