Mindfulness is “awareness” without judgment of what is through a direct and immediate experience.” You are being mindful when: You eat dessert and notice every flavor you are tasting, instead of eating the dessert while having a conversation and looking around the room to see who you know. If you are being mindful, you are not thinking about “is it good or bad to have dessert?” You’re just really having dessert.

Having gotten free of your anxiety or self-consciousness, you dance to music and experience every note, instead of wondering if you look graceful or foolish.

Thinking about someone you love or someone you hate, you pay attention to exactly what your love or your hate feels like. You’re not caught up in justifying the love or hate to yourself; your are just diving into the experience, with full awareness that you are diving in.

If you stop to think about it, you will realize that very few of us devote ourselves to living mindfully, meeting each moment of life as it presents itself, with full awareness, letting our judgements fall away. Instead we do things automatically, without noticing what we are doing. We churn out judgments about ourselves and others. We regularly do two three or five things at once. We frequently get so caught up in our thoughts and feelings about the past and future we are lost in them, disconnecting from what is happening right now in front of us.

We also live without awareness because living with full awareness is very painful. We avoid painful thoughts, feelings and situations when we are afraid or angry or ashamed or sad because we convinced ourselves that we cant’ do anything to change them AND e are convinced we cant stand to live with them.

To summarize mindfulness is awareness, without judgement, of life as it is, yourself as you are, other people as they are, in the here and now, through direct and immediate experience. When you are mindful you are awake to life on its terms-fully alive to each moment as it arrives, as it is, and as it ends.

Exert from Cindy Sanderson, Ph.D article- Mindfulness for Clients, Friends, and Family Members.

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