I remember when GPS navigation first came out and my husband and I were travelling in another city.  I usually have a good sense of direction and rely on landmarks to mark my routes.  However, I stopped paying attention the minute we turned on the GPS system, and even though we managed to get to where we were going, I felt lost.

Sometimes in life, I find myself doing the same thing.  It seems easier just to turn on my GPS and go about my day doing things without even being aware I am doing them.  I am often asking myself, “did I remember to turn off my curling iron?  Did I lock the door when I left?”  Can you relate?  Our culture seems to always be demanding more of us.  It seems easier sometimes to just turn on our internal GPS system thinking it is a more efficient way to meet life’s demands.  We seem to get places faster, but find ourselves feeling lost. We start to lose touch with our thoughts and feelings.  Emotions are felt in the body and when we stop noticing, we don’t even realize the emotions we are experiencing until we see ourselves reacting.  Unaware of our thoughts, we allow ourselves to get tangled up in them.  We don’t savour the moments in our lives and they are quickly forgotten.  We may even find ourselves unaware that we are traveling in a different direction than when we started.

How would being more present and aware change your experience of life?  Mindfulness is a practice that can bring awareness to your experiences.  Here are some suggestions for being more mindful.

1)Start by choosing just one activity each day in which to be present.  Really test your senses to see what you notice in the moment.  See if you can identify what your are feeling emotionally and physically and what your mind is telling you in the moment.

2)Focus on your breathing.  Close your eyes for a moment and notice your breath.  You don’t need to try to change it, but simply notice the sensations of inhaling and exhaling, noticing the movement of your chest, shoulders and stomach with each breath.

3)Practice meditation.  Meditation involves training your mindto shift attention from one thing to the next.  Starting with just five minutes a day, incorporate some form of meditation into your day.



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