Introduction to Mindfulness

As we navigate these uncertain times, we are surrounded by unfortunate news whilst adapting to a new life of social distancing, self-isolation, quarantines, working from home and home-based learning.  In such a scenario, it’s vital that we remain ‘Calmly Active and Actively Calm’. A quiet mind in the midst of incessant chatter is what we should be aiming for. But how do we attain such a state of calm?

Embracing our vulnerability

Firstly, we need to acknowledge that the feeling of fear, anxiety or worry is normal, and we are not alone! It is not in any way a sign of weakness. If at all, it’s a sign of strength. It’s a sign that the body, mind and soul are awakening to a new reality that recognises the preciousness of life. You want to live!

Acknowledge the emotion that you feel and say to yourself, “It’s fine to feel whatever I am feeling at this moment.” Embrace your vulnerability and let it go.

Practicing mindfulness and maintaining a positive frame of mind

Looking on the bright side, this pandemic gives us a much needed opportunity to pause, take stock and spend time on ourselves.  

As we adapt to our new schedules and routines, it is essential to maintain healthy habits and a positive mind-set to take on the new challenges. In other words, mindfulness.

Mindfulness is what arises when you pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, and as if your life depended on it. And what arises is nothing other than awareness itself.

                                   Mind Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D

While Mindfulness is an innate ability, it can also be cultivated through various techniques such as yoga, meditation and Mindful Journaling.

What is Mindful Journaling and how can it help?

Mindful Journaling is a process which takes you through a short mindfulness exercise before you write. Sensory-based Mindful Journaling sessions that include visualisation exercises are a great way to take you away from all the noise, quieten your inner critique and unlock your latent creativity.

In this two-part series, you will learn to listen to your own voice. You will be guided through a visualization process to bring out what’s within you in this series of articles. You will start writing spontaneously without a care about correctness. You will write from your heart. And be surprised by what you discover.

As a first step, find yourself a quiet spot in your home with a journal and pen within reach. Begin with the short mindfulness exercise as follows.

Introduction to Mindfulness Part 1

(To zoom in, simply click the above image to open in a new tab)

Once you’ve entered this calm state of mind, the next step of Mindful Journaling is the writing itself! Read the next article to follow this set of useful tips and start penning down your thoughts into your journal.

#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.