Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It’s been 23 years since I’ve moved to Canada from the Philippines.  I remember that the first thing I looked for was a Filipino community paper so I can read some news about the community being new in Calgary.  I never found any Filipino community paper back in 1996. From them on I told myself that [...]

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Page added on October 29, 2018

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Being Mindful

By Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Experts in psychology define being mindful as the state of paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally. In other words, when doing something, whether eating breakfast or driving to work, zero in on the sight, sound, smell, taste and feel on these activities. Bring awareness to the routine of activity with more interest.

It takes practice to be mindful and it starts right after we wake up in the morning. Before reading news, turning on the tv, or checking e-mail, set the tone of your mind right after your cup of coffee or tea. It increases the likelihood of having mindful moments for the rest of the day. My personal practice is to pray, give thanks to the Lord for the new day and offer to Him all my cares and concerns. It makes my yoke lighter, my day brighter.

At times we feel our body and mind are out of line. Our mind wanders to various directions. Engaging the senses helps into the path of mindfulness. As a matter of fact, concentration is the anchor to mindfulness. Try to imagine mindfulness as the ship and yourself, the captain of the ship that steers the ship and decides where to place the anchor. Concentration is the anchor and the object of your mindfulness is the anchor point like your step. It takes time to quiet one’s mind as well as to develop concentration, but it is well worth it. Simply quieting the mind can bring a great sense of peace and happiness.

There are many ways to cultivate mindfulness. One of them is making gratitude a normal part of a daily routine. Practicing gratitude is akin to counting your blessings. Gratitude is the very simple act of just expressing thanks for the things we have in life. Even when we’re experiencing a terrible day, there are always plenty of things to be grateful for. Some people create a “gratitude jar” where they place a list of things to be grateful for every morning and night. By practicing gratitude, we are made aware of what makes us happy and be grateful for in that moment which supports the idea of being present.

Engaging one’s senses increases awareness which helps to the path of mindfulness. You can do this by interacting with a pet or smelling a flower. Or You can do something much bigger like swimming, going for a run or walk, or touching something really cold to give yourself a jolt back into your body and out of your head.

There’s something so pleasant sitting in a cafe and watch the world go by – watch people go about their daily lives, imagine who they are, what their hobbies are and what they might do for a living. The art of people watching is an activity that is rooted in mindfulness. It is taking a step outside of oneself and one’s ego to observe other people in that exact moment in time.

Create a more mindful way of living. Go forth and enjoy every moment by utilizing mindfulness.


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