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What is Mindfulness?

teen meditating

 

“Short moments of awareness practiced over time become automatic and continuous”
-Chris McKenna

 

 

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment and what is happening both inside and outside of ourselves with an awareness that is open and allowing rather than judgmental or fixated. Mindfulness creates space for pause empowering wiser responses that are expressed through the higher executive functions of improved attention, impulse control, emotion regulation, discernment, and compassion.

By intentionally practicing Mindfulness we have the potential to live less on ‘automatic pilot’ and more fully in the ‘now’ of our lives which manifests as a more contented life with fully felt experiences. Mindfulness can be experienced in many ways including  walking, talking, eating, listening and breathing.

Though rooted in the Buddhist practice of vipasana, mindfulness is actually a secular practice introduced to the United States by Thich Nhat Hahn. Soon thereafter, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center introduced mindfulness into the medical field and it has since become a successful mainstream influence in medicine, psychology, corporate environments, and education.

feetMindfulness is also a rapidly growing  practice for families. Because the benefits include emotional integrity, improved communication skills, self regulation and quality of presence. When we bring Mindfulness into the home, families experience more meaningful and harmonious relationships.

HarmoniousKids holds that Mindfulness is a valuable tool for empowering children (and adults) with an inner compass that guides them to grow more fully and authentically to achieve their highest potential. It is a skill that can serve for a lifetime.