Mindfulness means “being in the moment. Achieving a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and our surrounding environment regardless of what is happening around us.
Mindfulness can be summed up in one sentence… “STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES!”
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment, the here and now rather than going over and over the past or obsessing about the future. It allows us to relax fully into what is happening moment to moment. We've come to equate mindfulness with “good feeling” emotions such as joy, relaxation, happiness and contentment.
But in this fast paced, technologically driven world mindfulness can be an extremely difficult state of mind to achieve for two main reasons:
we cannot force or dictate to the mind what not to think.
we get our sense of self and personal identity through those very thoughts.
Is mindfulness something that we can learn or is it something you have to be born with?
Mindfulness is actually a form of meditation with an important aspect to it—acceptance. It allows you to become aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. However mindfulness is different to meditation in that it involves the awareness of “some-thing,” – everything that is happening around you in the here and now, while meditation is the awareness of “no-thing.” Certain studies have suggested that mindfulness training can reduce stress levels, anxiety, depression and pain. It could go a long way in addressing some of our mental, emotional and spiritual health problems!
So mindfulness then is a state that can be brought on through practice. It's not static, and it’s not something you are born with. It involves intention, practice, awareness, and an attitude that is non-judgmental, curious, and kind.
So how do we get started…?
Be open and give it a try…you never know what can happen
Sit on a comfortable straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor
Focus on your breathing, on aspects of it…..the air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas.
Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race or wander, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again
Work with this awareness, dwell on each thought and emotion, return to it again and again
Keep your focus on what is occurring in the present moment, simply observing thoughts, feelings, sensations as they arise.
Pay attention. It's hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste.
Now take this into every aspect of your life…as you go to work, school, grocery shopping or driving in your car. Take in all the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations around you and take note of your reaction to them. Process them in the here and now. Enjoy and experience the moment!
Crystals all have a unique vibrational energy and different spiritual properties. We can use these properties to help us with our mindfulness practice. The crystals can simply be worn or carried with you as you go about your day. If you are practicing mindful meditation crystals make a great focal point to help calm the mind and begin meditation.
Amethyst is known as a great all-purpose master healer. This stone of higher consciousness has the ability to enhance higher states of consciousness and dispel negativity. How does this help mindfulness? This stone is a fantastic balancing stone, it helps to calm harsh emotions and maintain equilibrium.
If you're stuck in a negative thinking cycle, consider adding Obsidian into your meditation. Obsidian, often known as the "psychic vacuum cleaner," absorbs and clears irritability and tension, making you grounded and aware of your thoughts. It's an excellent stone for eliminating any prior negative or emotional harm. In addition, it has powerful metaphysical properties that can help defend you from unwanted influences. When you combine it with Citrine, your view on life will drastically change.
Meditation is closely linked with mindfulness and Fluorite is a top pick as a meditation gemstone with its major benefit being focus and the ability to balance physical and mental energy. It calms what is called ‘monkey mind’ where thoughts almost leap around the mind like a monkey from branch to branch!
With living in the moment being such an important part of mindfulness we need a gemstone that will give us the feeling of security and grounding needed for us not to be worried about the future. Tiger’s Eye is just the one – boosting our confidence and courage like no other stone.
Kyanite is known as a stone to bring about stillness and tranquility so is ideal for meditation but its added benefit of helping to accept personal responsibility for your actions makes this an ideal mindfulness crystal. A core belief of Buddhism is that you are accountable for all the thoughts and feelings that you may have.
Any discussion of mindfulness will include the terms wise intention or wise understanding. In the simplest terms this means our intentions and thoughts influence the way we act in our day to day lives. Wise speech, wise action and a wise livelihood will lead to greater personal peace and well-being. Our final crystal today is the gemstone of wisdom, sodalite which brings rational thought, emotional balance and order to the mind.
Citrine's sunny energy clears any blockages, negative thoughts, or instabilities by filling you with optimism and positive vibrations. This makes a Citrine crystal the ideal stone to begin your day with joyful thoughts, encouraging you to "stop and feel every breath". So, if you think your life has become a bit too stagnant, try mindfulness meditation with Citrine.
Malachite is a beautiful gemstone that helps you tune in and focus on the present moment, turning off your possibility to autopilot. For example, suppose you've been repressing harmful thoughts or emotions. In that case, Malachite can support raising them to the surface, helping you deal with past anger, negativity, and psychological causes. Malachite enables you to be your true self without judgment by removing pre-conceived notions and inhibitions. It improves your awareness to foster growth and restore balance.
Other crystals that help with mindfulness: