“Take a breath.”
What is your reaction to these phrases? I have to say, they’ve lost their luster on me, fit only for memes and beach t-shirts. The problem with language is that it gets tired. Especially from repeated use. Especially in our highly-commercialized society.
So how do we keep mindfulness alive for ourselves? For one, a reminder that the description of mindfulness is not mindfulness. To paraphrase Jon Kabat-Zinn says, let’s not try to eat the menu, people. The sustenance, the richness, the nutrients from mindfulness come from the actually doing of it, not the talking about it.
What would it actually mean to bring your full attention to this moment? To feel your body against the chair or ground you sit on? What would it actually be like to follow a complete breath from start to finish? You won’t find the answer in a description of mindfulness.
(To be clear, I like a good meme as much as the next lady. Also, they can remind us to do the thing. Just don’t let it replace the thing.)