Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present; aware of where we are and what we are doing, in whatever activity or task we are involved. We bring ourselves into whatever we do and wherever we go, so every moment becomes an opportunity to be mindful.
Whenever you bring awareness to what you are directly experiencing via your body and senses, or to your state of mind through your thoughts and emotions, you are being mindful. More and more research on this phenomena shows that when you train your brain to be mindful, you are actually changing how your brain works.
Mindfulness is a quality of relaxed alertness. It is important to learn to suspend judgment and self-criticism for purer awareness to prevail. Although we all have this innate ability, it often takes learning certain skills and practices to increase our ability to be mindful and get out of our own way.
As we learn to quiet the mind and the body, to allow spaciousness and ease within us, we can begin to explore and understand the patterns that often drive us, in a much deeper, non-judgmental way. We can begin to let go and grow less attached to the myriad of distractions around us and within us, leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves, reducing stress, and cultivating a more balanced approach to living.