Karen Horneffer-Ginter
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BRAD WATERS:

How Do I Know When I'm Being Mindful?

Mindfulness is something you've probably felt many times, but perhaps never labeled it as such. Mindfulness can be that profound sense of peace when you are in the forest and nothing else matters but the environment around you. Mindfulness can be that cozy time in front of a crackling fireplace when you feel entranced by the flickering flames. It can come from closely observing the intricate parts of a flower or the millions of stars in the sky. It can even be the solace of your morning shower, when all your senses are engaged by that very moment.

Mindfulness might feel peaceful and calming, perhaps clarifying or clearing, and some people find it energizing. It gives time for our mind to be free from the running dialogue of self-talk that can be so distracting and overwhelming. But none of these things, the feelings or the results, are necessarily the goals of mindfulness.

When we decide to intentionally cultivate mindful presence, we may have prior knowledge or ideas of what we ought to expect. But we can give ourselves permission to let those expectations go. To keep an open mind and just be in the moment without an agenda. A large part of what it means to be mindful is finding that space and time where we are free from goals and expectations. A time when we can free ourselves from the habits of applying labels to the thoughts and feelings that we experience. Instead, we just notice them as they arise.

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This excerpt comes from Brad's ebook, "Cultivating Your Everyday Mindfulness," which is available through Amazon . It's filled with wonderful mindfulness tips and suggested practices.

Brad Waters, MSW provides career and life strategy coaching-consulting to creatives and solopreneurs internationally. He also writes the Design Your Path blog for Psychology Today.

Brad is the author of the books Cultivating Your Everyday Mindfulness and Exploring Your Life Story: A Workbook for Cultivating Joy and Growth Through Personal Storytelling. Learn more at howaboutcake.com or follow along on Facebook.

Read more from Brad Waters at his website.

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May, 2013:  How Do I Know When I'm Being Mindful?

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