Let’s start in a simple place – mindfulness is liberating. The end 🙂
Let’s make life simpler. When an unpleasant feeling or thought comes just notice that there’s an unpleasant feeling or thought. No engagement with it, no judgment of it. Just noticing it. A thought is a mental event, not a fact.
It’s not, ‘I’M feeling…’ but rather ‘I notice the feeling of….’. Get out of your head and into your body. Can you locate that feeling in your body? Sit with it knowing that it’s ok. Notice it and be curious with it, don’t engage with it, just watch it and then come back to the awareness of the body breathing all by itself. There’s a big difference between “I feel anxious”, and “oh look, there’s anxiety”. With this new way of feeling about it, we can allow it to pass quicker.
I think mindfulness is one of life’s hacks! I took a course in mindfulness last year, and the year that followed was eye opening. I’d always heard the saying “it’s not the situation, it’s how you react to it that determines how you feel”. I liked it, but always thought there must be a lot of work to do to get to that place, one day I’ll get there. Then in an instant I noticed how fixed my perspective was.
I’ve always thought that life isn’t black and white, but instead of that meaning that life is complicated, to me it now means that you don’t have to be stuck in any one situation in your mind. You can choose how you react because you can just view it differently. Things are rarely what they first appear to be.
In noticing your thought or your environment you are bringing yourself back in the present moment. Mindfulness photography is a really good way of being in the present moment. When you take photos you’re looking at the detail more, you’re looking at the scene differently. I personally love photographing the details of nature, perhaps the inside of a flower, the bark of a tree, the fungi growing through the moss on a tree. These miracles are happening around us and being present with that is so calming.
Try doing a nature meditation. Select something in the garden, or when you’re on a walk, or even the flowers in the vase on the window sill! Think about when it was a seed, how much life and strength is inside it. Look at the parts that are light, the parts that are dark. Touch it and be curious, approach it like it’s the first time you’ve ever touched it. How does it feel? Is it cold, warm, hard, soft. After some time you may notice your heart beat slow down and you feel calmer. That’s lovely, but it’s not the sole purpose of being mindful. It’s about being present in the world around you, rather than being in a trance like state thinking over the past or worrying about the future.
Bringing curiosity to your day is a part of mindfulness that I think hits a sweet spot. You get to be like a child again! Andy Puddicombe from Headspace says: When you next go to do a familiar activity that is subconscious (like making tea), try doing it consciously. It’s interesting. Being curious is another one of those things that is underrated I think. Curiosity makes things novel, and in bringing a sense of wonder back in to the mix it can lead to it’s friend Gratitude! Hello Gratitude, how are you?!
These photos were the result of being curious, and noticing what was around me, and further delving into just how utterly amazing nature is. Noticing the intricate detail of it is reviving, it makes you say ‘wow’ and I love that because that’s where gratitude and awe then follow.
If you think you’d be interested in mindfulness photography workshops, leave a comment 🙂
I am available for commissions, please get in touch!