FindingBalance: Creating a mindfulness jar

What is mindfulness? In short, it is the ability to be present in the moment, for everything that it is, blocking out all other stray thoughts and taking your time to slow down and really pay attention. It is creating a line between the mind full and the mindful.

Striving to mindful at all times can obviously be a difficult task when we have so much clutter up there…What groceries do I need? When do I need to pick my friend up? I hope I pass this exam. I would really love to go to Aruba. I have to pay that phone bill. … Every day thoughts that we think and need to think. The problem is that so much of the time, we have so much on our mind we forget to notice the actual, present moment.

Other than sitting in meditation and being in the stillness, there are some simple things we can do to practice mindfulness. Counting our breathing is one way — breathing in deeply to a count of three and out completely to a count of three a few times. You can even do this while simply thinking “I breathe in. I breathe out.” You are, in a way, “tricking” your mind to focus on something while doing this.

Another thing I found recently that has been an amazing mindfulness tool is the mindfulness jar. You can make these with just a few simple things: a small mason jar with a tight cover, glitter glue, warm water and additional glitter. Take the glitter glue and pour it into the jar, then add warm water to melt the glue so it blends together. Add enough water to almost fill the jar. Then add a little more glitter (or even some shiny confetti) and close the jar tightly.

Shake the jar. When you do this, it acts like a snow globe, but the glue in the mixture slows the movement enough that you can enjoy it for more than a few seconds. Watch how the glitter moves and changes within the jar. For the time you are doing this, you are practicing mindfulness! This is also an awesome stress reliever. I keep mine at work.

Enjoy. The pure light in me honors and respects the pure light in all of you. Namaste.

Jennifer Russo