I am back from the beach and I had the best time with my sweet friends! For the last three years, we have traditionally gone to NYC in late fall for our girls’ trip but this year we decided to change it up and head south to the Grand Cayman Islands.
I feel rejuvenated, as I sit here and write my memories/reflections in my journal. I feel euphoric reflecting back and happy that I applied skills I learned from my Miraval experience. Let me explain more… I took time on my getaway to breathe in the smells of the ocean air, capture both physical and mental pictures, I laughed and reminisced with my great friends and of course I got to catch up on sleep which just makes everything extra magical when you’re a momma!
Mindfulness is defined as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your experience. Being mindful seems like a simple concept that everyone should just naturally follow but let’s face it, with our busy lives and the distraction of the many devices so many people have in their lives, it is hard to truly live in the moment! I know this first hand! Going off the grid at Miraval last September completely changed my life and I have been so enlightened and inspired to apply the tips I received and eager to learn more about mindful living.
I wanted to share three ways and tips I have incorporated being mindful to my daily life –
Acknowledge || It is so important that you recognize and acknowledge your emotions. We often tell our kids “your fine” or “be happy” and it is so easy to want them to be happy but if we don’t recognize how they are really feeling in the moment and just avoiding those “bad” feelings how do they get past it? I had a one on one consult with a “mindful living” guru at Miraval share- what we should be doing to acknowledge our emotions mindfully. Imagine you are driving along in your car and suddenly you hear something on the radio that immediately makes you feel annoyed. What she recommends is to totally acknowledge your emotion say it in your head or out loud (“I’m feeling annoyed”) and then tell that emotion to get in the back seat so you can keep driving your car forward! It is okay to feel annoyed, mad and sad but it is getting past it and moving on with your life!
Gratitude || The second tip is to truly take time in your day to take a minute especially when you are feeling happy, breathe in the air and take a mental picture of your surroundings including the sky! Something the ‘Mindful Living’ guru from Miraval helped me realize about observing the sky is that it is truly unique and you will never see it again in that same way- regardless if it is overcast or beautiful white fluffy clouds! Since hearing that I do catch myself admiring them and I have the littles’ join in with me and appreciate the small gifts we are given! I recently downloaded an app on my iPhone called “Five Minute Journal” – It is a gratitude journal that you write three things you are grateful for in the morning, then you set a plan with three things you will do to make today great and lastly you put an affirmation to set your day. Then at night you can go back and add the three top amazing things that happened to you that day and add what could have made it even better. I will be honest I don’t remember to do this every day but when I am in a routine of keeping up I feel it sets a happy tone to my day!
Breathing || This is number three on my list to share. I think is so important (beyond the obvious fact that we need it to stay alive) and focusing on my breath has helped me tremendously! While we know how vital breathing is to living, one thing most people don’t take time to do is just simply take deep breaths. When you take three deep breaths (the ones that raise your abdomen) it instantly starts to calm your nervous system and takes you out of ‘fight or flight’ mode which in turn also makes you less reactive to stressful situations. The reason I wanted to share the importance of breathing is in my life with a five and almost three-year-old we encounter almost daily ‘fight or flight’ scenarios and since focusing on using deep breathing in my life I feel like things don’t escalate as much as they used to, which in turn helps me be more mindful and happily present in my littles’ lives!
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