GUEST POST: Mindfulness—Being Fully Present with Ashlee Sade

Ever since I can remember, I have struggled with being fully in the moment. Whether that be in school, at church, or hanging with my friends, I zone out and became lost in my thoughts or worrying about the future. It’s mind-blowing that I can be physically in the room, even engaging in conversation, but often times my mind is somewhere else. It’s not that I do not want to give my undivided attention, but my mind is like an internet browser with a million tabs open at once. I am always processing something or thinking through a plan. I struggle with being fully present during moments where it should come naturally.

I recently traveled to Iceland with a group of my closest friends for my 30th birthday. It was by far the most magical place I have ever seen. I visited Seljalandsfoss, an absolutely breathtaking waterfall streaming from a mountain. Yet, as I was supposed to be taking in all the natural beauty Iceland has to offer, I was thinking about everything but the beautiful sights in front of me. A few times I had to snap out of it and remind myself to take a moment to be fully present.

Now, I have suffered from anxiety throughout my young adult and adult life. I tend to get stressed very easily and become engrossed in my thoughts or worries. Lack of mindfulness only adds to these moments and truly hinders my ability to be aware of where I am and what I’m doing. It becomes an extra task to not only keep my anxiety at bay, but also bring myself into the now.

While it’s not a sickness nor is there a cure, I’ve found meditation to be helpful in tacking mindfulness. Whether your meditation is 5-minutes of deep thinking in silence or an hour-long yoga class, this unique experience can help bring you into the now. I prefer to do several short meditation stints throughout the day as a way to bring me into the now. I have probably taken over 75 yoga classes. Each class I go in with the goal of quieting my thoughts. While many people can truly relax their thoughts and focus on the moment, I must admit I still struggle with staying present through an entire yoga session, but I refuse to give up.

As hard as it may be to quiet your thoughts at times, I highly encourage each of you to not forget to stop and admire the rainbows!

Ashlee Rainbow


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