The Beauty of Simplicity

cat box

I have had to back track a bit. By that I mean that I have had to remind myself about simplicity and the benefits of mindfulness on one’s physical and emotional health. I have been doing so much research regarding therapies, neuroplasticity, apps, etc., that I have lost sight of the whole focus of my blog…mindfulness.

The other day, my oldest daughter sent a picture of April, her and her boyfriend’s cat. April was snuggled in her favourite shoe box, not a cat bed, or expensive pet structure of some kind…a simple box. As a child and as a parent, I loved taking big boxes (ones that were probably used to ship a washer, or dryer, for instance) and turning them into spaceships, or what have you. It was “loads” of inexpensive fun.

Ancient philosopher and poet, Lao Tzu stated, “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”

The following information by Dr. Alice Boyes is a wonderful example of easy it is to come back to the beauty of simplicity. The link to the full article is listed at the end of the post.

6 Mindfulness Exercises That Each Take Less Than 1 Minute

Mindfulness exercises for people who don’t want to do formal meditation.

Post published by Alice Boyes Ph.D. on Feb 12, 2013 in In Practice

1. Two mindful bites.

Instead of attempting to do mindful eating all the time, try mindful eating for the first two bites of any meal or snack.

For the first two bites of any meal or snack you eat, pay attention to the sensory experiences – the texture, taste, smell, and appearance of the food, and the sounds when you bite into your food.

You don’t need to savor per se, you’re just paying attention to your sensory experience in an experiential rather than evaluative way.

2. What one breath feels like.

Instead of formal meditation, try paying attention to what one breath feels like.

Feel the sensations of one breath flowing into and out from your body. Notice the sensations in your nostrils, your shoulders, your rib cage, your belly etc.

3.Take a mindful moment to give your brain a break instead of checking your email.

Instead of checking my email in the 5 minutes between therapy clients, I spend a few seconds watching out my window. I usually watch the leaves fluttering on the big trees across the street.

Use mindfulness to give your brain a break rather than filling up every tiny space in your day by automatically reaching to check your email.

4. Air on exposed skin.

Pay attention to the feeling of air on your skin for 10-60 seconds.

This is best done when wearing short sleeves or with some skin exposed.

Why: You’re practicing being in experiential processing mode (as opposed to evaluative “judging” mode, which is our default).

5. Scan your body.

Scan your body from top to toe for any sensations of discomfort or tension. Attempt to soften to the sensations of discomfort. Next, scan your body for any sensations of comfort or ease.

6. Do one action mindfully.

Pick an action you do at the same time everyday and plan to do that action mindfully. For example, the moment you flick out your rolled up newspaper.

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