I can guarantee, that either one way or another, you have found yourself feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the daily pressures and demands of life. I can certainly testify that I have tasted the ever-turning wheels and rigmaroles of L-I-F-E and it is not a satisfying taste. How can that really be? Let’s just say that too much salt was in your fettuccine at lunch, or too much sugar in your morning tea, the initial tendency would be to let the chef know, and ask for a new serving of fettuccine, and you would simply add to water to your tea, all because you are pretty much aware that something was not quite right.

Please allow me to personally and in my own way define the acronym L-I-F-E as “Learn, Impact, Focus and Explore.” What is the state of your mind right now? Is the tail wagging you, or are you wagging the tail? Think about that for a minute. Dear reader, to be mindful is to have the ability or skill to be cognizant, present, and aware of who we are, where we are, and what we are doing in exclusive of becoming overwhelmed or reactive to our surroundings. It is the art of paying attention and doing so specifically.

“Doing mindfulness is like a fitness routine for your brain, it keeps your brain healthy.” -Christine O’Shaughnessy.

As Christine O’ Shaughnessy has just shared, I find myself paying close attention to my thoughts, my feelings, and to moments when my focus is tampered with. As a wife, mother of three, full-time employed, and a final year MPH student, along with maintaining relationships of family and close friends... Oops!! How dare I forget my alone moments! I cannot afford the ‘tail to wag me’. For those of who you have walked or are on this journey, you know how important it is to stay on top of the game and it does require a good chunk of mindfulness.

Here are key things to keep at heart and the most important thing is to start. You heard me, START!
1. Do what you love. Read, sing, journal, garden, spas, sports, talk to that special friend.
2. Thought Clouds. Thoughts will come… Oh yes, they do! Choose what stays or what must go!
3. Be sensual. Take note of ‘good things’ that perk up your sense of smell, sight, touch, taste, and sight. The energy felt is as real as can be and so is the wisdom in your sensations. Sensations tend to reveal the state of the mind, whether it is lively or heavy burdened.
4. Attend training sessions or download apps that will engage you to understand, embrace and balance your thoughts and wandering mind.
5. Just breathe. As you read this article, take some time to inhale and exhale deeply, nice, and slow; your mind and body will love it and so will the conscious you!

Now that you have learned, have been impacted, you are now focused, and we can now explore and reap the benefits that stem from mindfulness: such as reduced aging, resilience, lower stress, reduced anxiety, restored emotional balance and interpersonal struggles, reduced depression, and disease, and illnesses.

“Mindfulness is not about being positive all the time or a bubblegum sort of happiness — la, la, la, it’s about noticing what happens moment to moment, the easy and the difficult, and the painful and the joyful. It’s about building a muscle to be present and awake in your life.” - Suzanne Westbrook.

--This article was written by Mrs. Schkara Green, Health Ministries leader, Adelaide and Bethel Seventh-day Adventist churches, South Bahamas Conference