what you are doing as you are doing it—and nothing else. Feel the warm, soapy water on your hands as you wash dishes; experience the vibrations of the vacuum cleaner as you cover the area of the fl oor; enjoy the warmth of the laundry as you fold it; feel the freedom of letting go of unneeded objects as you put them in the donations bag. It may sound a little silly, but if you approach cleaning as an exercise in mindfulness, it can become one. You may also add music to the equation.

5. Observing Your Thoughts: Many stressed and busy people fi nd it diffi cult to stop focusing on the rapid stream of thoughts running through their mind, and the idea of sitting in meditation and holding off the onslaught of thought can actu- ally cause more stress! If this sounds like you, the mindfulness exercise of observ- ing your thoughts might be for you. Rather than working against the voice in your head, you sit back and "observe" your thoughts, rather than becoming involved in them. As you observe them, you might fi nd your mind quieting, and the thoughts becoming less stressful. If not, you may benefi t from journaling as a way of processing all those thoughts so you can decrease their intensity and try again.

Helping you discover what is emerging within you

 Therapist  Spiritual Counselor  Psychosynthesis Coach

Audrey McMorrow, LPC, BCC Sparhawk Mill

81 Bridge Street Yarmouth, ME 207-650-8052

“n te wiprn f yu ols lnig h r o en nie o bcm?

I h hseig o or su’ ogns , wo ae yu big ivtd t eo e”

6. Create Your Own!: You are probably now getting the idea that virtually any activity can be a mindfulness exercise, and in a way, you’re right. Walking, listening to music, eating chocolate, and many other activities can be "mindful- ness activities" if you perform them with a sense of mindfulness. This means focusing on the present moment, focus- ing on physical sensations, being fully present in everything you do, letting go of thoughts of the future or anxiety over the past, and just being "there" with what you are doing. It helps to practice meditation or another exercise that re- ally focuses on mindfulness, but you can bring mindfulness to anything you do, and fi nd yourself less stressed and more grounded in the process.

What’s Next? Mindfulness takes practice. Some

people may put aside time to formally prac- tice mindfulness, such as devoting time to practice mindful awareness of their breath or thoughts or have a daily meditation

practice. However, the good thing about mindfulness is that you can also practice it at any point throughout your day. For example, you can bring mindfulness aware- ness to a number of activities that we often do without thinking, such as eating (mindful eating), washing dishes, cooking, taking a shower or bath, walking, driving in the car, or listening to music.

As you go about your day, try to fi nd

as many opportunities as you can to prac- tice mindfulness. The more you practice, the easier it will become to bring mindful awareness to your life experiences, which in the end may also help you cope with your PTSD symptoms. It can take a little practice and trial-and-error to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life, but the benefi ts are well worth the effort. Seek out a therapist or a coach that can assist you with training and implementation of mind- fulness techniques in your daily life. Most importantly…do it all with loving kindness towards yourself. Namaste.

MJ holds a B.A. in Forensic Psychology, a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health and Counseling from Southern New Hamp- shire University and a Certifi - cate in Meditation Instruction

from the University of Holistic Theology. MJ is currently a doctoral student obtaining her degree in Counselor Supervision and Education from Capella University. Her self-care practices include time with family; hiking a trail with her faithful companion, Grace, a lively black and white, 5 year old, English springer; or enjoying an evening gathered around a campfi re with friends and family. MJ is dedicated to the works she does and is here to help inspire both you and your practice. For more informa- tion, visit: www.presenceofmindstudio. com. See ad on page 26.

“My phobia is Gone!”

— Cindy M.

EFT 8” x 2.5” KSC_EFT-ELM-ad-010918 30 ELM™ Maine - May/June 2018

January 9, 2018 9:18 PM DGD

EFT Tapping 207-878-8315

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