The body is a great intelligence that has a story to tell. In listening to it, we gain a wise consul to guide us on our healing journey. Mindfulness helps us slow down to hear what the body has to say.
In mindfulness-based therapy, there is an inward focus to notice what is happening. This is listening to the body. Sounds simple enough, right? The practice, however, is more challenging due to our other brilliant friend the brain. This where therapy is helpful, as is meditation, yoga and other mind-body ways of being.
The idea is to open up as much space as possible and tune into our internal experience. The therapist facilitates this by asking questions like “Can we linger here?” In learning to stay with our feelings and sensations with a caring other tremendous resources emerge.
When attention is strong, we can simply do what we are doing, moment to moment. If we are peeling an orange, we may notice the stickiness of the juice, the smell of the orange oil, and a host of other sensations.
If the mind wanders, the instruction is, “Bring your attention back here.” Sometimes we continue to think about other things. The question is then, “Do you know where your attention is now?” Any instructions that bring the practitioner back to awareness of the present moment of experience is a mindfulness exercise.