Definitions of mindfulness by the experts

Following on from the last blog about what is mindfulness, it feels natural to me to look deeper into definitions of mindfulness and mindful living.

So for this post I am going to turn to the masters, the experts, the people who say it better than me. They will define mindfulness for us through video and word. I want this post to be a curated collection really of those different views of what mindfulness is. A reader commented on my last post that mindfulness is different for all of us, and this collection of definitions definitely shows us it is. Hopefully if you’re new to mindfulness you’ll find one that resonates for you, drop me a line in the comments about anything that speaks to you.

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Why I haven’t posted for a while…

When I started this draft, according to WordPress it was exactly 25 days since I’d posted. Apart from my few months of hibernation last year, that’s the longest time I think I’ve gone without posting. I love writing my blog so what could possibly have got me silenced? Well the last few weeks since I started with my 25 day gap, it’s just been pressures of working two jobs, trying to keep up with  family and friends, and generally keeping the hamster wheel going whilst trying to give myself all the things I love. However before that time it was the black snow.

I call it the black snow because it slowly falls onto the landscape of my life until I notice it. Some of you might call it a dark cloud, a black dog, being in a tunnel without any light. The number of metaphors for depression is endless, because we all experience it differently. I’m lucky now, for me because I use a number of different methods, I have very low level depression which occurs on a slightly more regular basis that I’d like, maybe 3 or 4 times a year for a few weeks, but sometimes I can keep that black snow from falling too.

The problem with black snow is it falls slowly and stealthily, covering everything in its wake until there’s a layer over everything. The things I love to do such as reading, practicing mindfulness, getting out and about start to get covered up.  I find them hard going, it’s like winter in my brain and my soul on a daily basis. Just carrying on with daily living is a constant I wouldn’t say struggle because it’s low level stuff, but a constant task or chore, rather than the fact that normally there are many pleasures and laughter.

The black snow obliterates life as I usually know it. I’m thankful because now even if I don’t know the black snow is coming, I know what to do to bring the sun out and thaw it; meditate, get out and go for a walk, eat well, sleep, talk to my wife, stroke the dogs, or the cats, take some time out to do nice things. The problem I have is sometimes it takes 2 or 3 weeks to notice it’s arrived again and a further 2 or 3 weeks of getting myself into gear to do the nice things. Once it’s over, it’s like a spring day has come, the sun is shining and all that’s left is the drip drip sound of what once was.

I share this for all of you that have black snow in your life too. Whether it’s so deep you can’t open the door at the moment, or it’s a foot high which makes it hard to trudge through but you can see how you could move above and you’re working on that. Keep working on the big thaw, it’s always worth it.