What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is paying attention in the present moment, on purpose, with a receptive attitude and willingness to be with what is.  

There are many different ways to cultivate mindfulness.  There are ancient meditation practices that come from Buddhism that teach formal sitting and walking practices that focus on returning over and over to the present moment by watching the breath, sounds and/or body sensations.

Mindfulness can be learned and practiced in other ways too.  In Mindfulness-Based Somatic Counseling, mindfulness is used seamlessly with various Somatic modalities.  It is difficult to describe Somatics and Mindfulness separately because they are like two legs of the same human being.  Both anchor us to the present moment and are inquisitive in nature.  Essentially, Mindfulness is a practice, and Somatics encompasses Mindfulness and many other practices.

Mindfulness gives us choice and compassion around difficult emotions.  It creates non-judgmental awareness of all that arises.  In using Mindfulness practices, we learn to pay attention to how we repeat difficult patterns and then begin to shift them by responding gently to what we notice.  We can become open and receptive to new possibilities.  Mindfulness also teaches us to be in the present moment without clinging to expectations or agendas.  It enables us to be flexible and creative in our responses to life.