Wholeness Healing Today


One Moment of Time

I recently tried practicing mindfulness skills while attempting to relax after a day of work. I have established a goal for the year to be more  present and aware of my moments. Focusing on just one thing at a time is difficult as I lounge on my warm, comfy couch. Beside me sits my lap dog, often biting at my hand, licking, or even barking, trying desperately to get my full attention.

The aroma from the kitchen floats in the air while my husband begins to prepare the evening meal. My phone rests beside me and chimes occasionally to alert me of messages awaiting my response. However, my goal in this moment is to focus only on my children, who are bouncing around the room, adorned in capes, mimicking their favorite super heroes. I’m committed to being mindful and observing only my children’s play. I want to increase my awareness of their interactions with my
‘eyes open’.

To put mindfulness to work, I must only observe the play. I can then begin to describe what I am observing through fact alone. For instance, I see them smiling, watching one another, pausing, exchanging words, making glances towards me, more smiles, followed by laughter, more movement, and more glances in my direction. Without judging what I see, I am able to become aware of my opportunity to participate in my moment. So I begin exchanging superhero language, “I will save you,” and movements that mimic my child ‘flying in to save the day’. My self consciousness is gone as I am silly with my actions and do not think of how I appear to them. We play easily with each other and seem to naturally know the dance moves.

There are many factors that make this moment occur mindfully. For one, it is absent of judgment. I have had to shift my attention away from my thoughts. “I wish I had more time to enjoy my kids.” “I am exhausted by all the things I need to attend to this evening.” “The kids’ clothes are filthy.” “They are being too loud.” And, “I should get my camera so I remember this moment.” Only the practice of mindfulness allows me to be present and not react to such thoughts about the past and make judgments about what I should have done before this moment. The practice of mindfulness also allows me to be free from thoughts about the future and what I am going to do about this moment later on. It is not important to judge the moment. It’s doing just one thing that allows me to be in my moment. I make conscious decisions not to pet the dog, glance at my phone, or ask about the upcoming meal. The thoughts and the urge are allowed to drift out of my mind. It is only about my children’s play and I am able to more fully enjoy this play, as I am participating in it.

Practicing mindfulness takes effort and lots of practice. However, upon completion of my goal, I know that I will be rewarded for the quality of my attention. I also know that I can feel even more in control of my emotions and impulses with this practice. For more information about mindfulness and other dialectical behavior skills, please check out our DVD library presented by the work of Marsha Linehan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Jody Johnson, LICSW, LIMHP, began working at Wholeness Healing Center as a therapist in 2007. Jody graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with her Masters in Social Work.  She received her bachelor degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

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