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  • SuePattonThoele

Myths of Mindfulness

Having just explained how I view mindfulness and outlined the four elements we will be concentrating on in The Mindful Woman, I’d now like to highlight a couple of myths about mindfulness.

Myth 1. Mindfulness Is Meditation

Although mindfulness and meditation do bring similar benefits and are both intended to quiet and center body, mind, and spirit, meditation is something we do, while mindful is something we are. Meditation is an intentional oasis in which you renew and replenish yourself. In meditation, you quiet your mind, body, and spirit in order to reconnect with yourself and your Source. Meditation is an activity. Mindfulness is an intentional adjustment of attitude and focus: a way of being.

Meditation supports and encourages mindfulness by training our wandering minds to be quietly aware and deliberately present. Because of its complementary nature, many of the practices included in The Mindful Woman are meditations. We do them to calm, center, and quiet ourselves and to diminish the tendency to become lost in thought. Such meditations strengthen the mindful muscles needed to develop the habit of mindful awareness.

Myth 2. Mindfulness Is Difficult and Time-Consuming

Because mindfulness is an attitude and way of being, we can move into it as easily and quickly as changing channels on the television. The only difficult parts of mindfulness are remembering to practice it, and to not judge ourselves when we forget, but simply and kindly choose to move back into the moment and pay attention to what is going on.

Mindfulness actually saves time and energy because it eliminates the wear and tear that being sucked unconsciously into the past or future causes our psyches, souls, and selves. Although we can heal the past and plan for the future, we cannot change or control either, which often makes dwelling on them an exercise in frustration and impotence. Mindfulness is also helpful for keeping track of mundane yet crucial details, like where you put your car keys and the time of your next appointment.

Excerpted from The Mindful Woman by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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