Scent. Woman smelling flowers during a walk in the woods.

The Scent of Mindfulness—Follow your Nose

Smell is often the most undervalued sense.

For many of us, unless a scent is extremely strong, extremely pleasant, or extremely unpleasant, we don’t pay much attention to it. Even with our limited sense of smell (compared to many animals), there is a wide range of smells in the world that we can enjoy, that can provide information, and that can become another universe for us to explore.

There are many variants out there of the Five Senses Mindfulness exercise, in which the participant focuses on each of their five senses in turn. It’s a great exercise in mindfulness and a good starting point for being more mindful of our senses, but if we can expand this idea into our regular moment-to-moment mindfulness, it will result in whole new worlds opening up to us.

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Attachment. Two women hugging.

Attachment: Understanding What we Want

Have you ever had a burning desire for something that you couldn’t have?

How did you handle it?

We all have desires: relationships, jobs, things. Sometimes we get what we want, and sometimes we don’t. It’s often difficult to accept when we fail. We try to figure out different ways of getting something we may never have. This is not necessarily a bad thing as long as we remain honest with ourselves about our actions and our motives.

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Focus. Determined woman focused and in the moment.

One Thing at a Time: Overcoming Challenges to Focus

Pay attention to one thing at a time.

It’s easy to say, but there is so much we have to keep track of. It’s also hard to stay focused—to keep our minds on what we are doing without getting distracted or letting our minds wander.

It’s important to remember that we are only capable of doing one thing at a time. At any single moment, our brains can only think about one thing. We may be under the illusion that we’re able to work on several things at once, but what is really happening is that we’re focusing on one thing for a very short time then moving on to something else. We may even be cycling through several tasks, causing us to think we’re focusing on all of them at the same time, but the bottom line is we can only focus on one at any given moment.

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Failure. Surfer wiping out.

Failure

Failure is an option.

What’s the worst thing that can happen?

As we go through our lives, we each make decisions about what we are going to do – in our jobs and in our personal lives, the big things and the small things, the important and the trivial. Part of what goes into those decisions are the consequences if we fail.

If we think we might fail, we worry that we’ll waste our time, that we could get hurt or embarrassed, or that the consequences will be dire. We fear failure. We worry about failure. We try to avoid failure.

But if we only do things that guarantee success, we are doing ourselves a disservice. We are not exploring our own personal boundaries. We are not testing ourselves. We’ll never find out what we’re made of.

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Obstacles. Amazing Maze.

Obstacles

What is stopping you from living a great life?

Is it something that can be overcome? Is it a legitimate excuse? Is it real, or is it something you use to rationalize your limitations?

All of us have obstacles. Sometimes we acknowledge them. Sometimes we address them. Sometimes we overcome them.

However, sometimes we incorporate them into our lives.

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