October in 2019, I took a trip to New Orleans. It was some much needed time off from a busy and stressful job. A few days into the trip, I found myself becoming carefree and feeling more deeply relaxed than I had been in a long while. In fact, I didn’t realize how exhausted I had been until I wasn’t. I walked around and explored all day, stopping whenever I wanted to eat something or chase down what interested me. I let the languid pace of that humid city pull me into its dance, and I lost track of time. I remember thinking how much I really needed to re-evaluate how I was living and take some serious time “off” from whatever pace I was keeping while I was “on,” and yet how unlikely it seemed that I would ever have the time for such a thing.
What does it mean to be ‘mindful’? How do you know if you’re actually meditating? Daily mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and all kinds of practices are becoming more popular as many struggle with the stresses of daily life.
There are lots of excellent resources online for anyone who would like to learn how to meditate, which is just a word to describe the use of a practice or technique to focus or train the mind to achieve various positive outcomes. Everything from better attention to increased ability to solve problems and increased awareness and peace of mind are all proven benefits. Meditation and/or daily mindfulness is also a spiritual practice for many who utilize it. See the studies below.