Episode 40: How to Cultivate Mindfulness

How to Cultivate Mindfulness

In this episode, Marie Berwald shares her tips for cultivating mindfulness. She explains what mindfulness is, how you can start practicing, how you can incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routine, and she'll let you know how you can use essential oils to improve your mindfulness.


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Hello, everyone! Welcome to this edition of the Oil Oasis. Today we are talking about mindfulness. So we are going to explore what is mindfulness, why would you even want to do it, how can you use your essential oils to enhance your practice, and how can it just fit into everyday living. 

So my name is Marie Burwell, and I have been a student of yoga and meditation and mindfulness for the past 20 years. And I love that our topic today is cultivating it because it's something that—and it's considered a practice—because it's something that can be tricky. I know a lot of people will say, “Oh well, it's too hard. My mind bounces around a lot,” and our essential oils can actually really help with that. 

What is Mindfulness? 

So let's first talk about what it is. Mindfulness is the quality of being fully present or just really fully alive in what's going on right here, right now as opposed to kind of spending all of our mental time bouncing to what's happening later on or rehashing things that have happened in the past. And there are a lot of benefits when we just sink into this present moment, and we have been gifted these amazing physical bodies to experience our life here on our wonderful planet. And so mindfulness has a lot to do about with grounding ourselves into our physical being, so being aware of what we feel, what we hear, what we taste, what we see, it's being present in the world. 

The side benefit of all that is that it gives us a lot of grace and equanimity. It's a real yoga word, but it basically means the ability to kind of go through the waves of life without feeling like our boat is being swamped. It's the difference between having like a rowboat versus being like a big cruise ship. And so Mindfulness is a way to kind of get that big cruise ships, so that when the waves of life come along, we just we can just float through them with more ease and grace. So that's why I think there's real value in it. 

Types of Mindfulness Practice

Now there's actually lots of different styles of mindfulness practice, but they could be grouped into kind of two big ones. One is like a formal mindfulness practice and one's informal. 

So formal one is where you actually sit down, and you know you're in a quiet space. For me, this is the way I love to start every single day. I started doing that regularly about three years ago, and it's just been amazing because it means that I get to start my day with my intentions. So often if we start our day just kind of scrolling along our phones were on someone else's agenda right away, and we're pulled into a whole bunch of things and stress, and you know, it's just nice to take those first five minutes when you're awake just to get quiet, to feel your body. That's the easiest way to do this is literally just to close your eyes, feel your body breathing, and see if you can't feel life in your body. You might feel that as tingles. I often feel it is like a current of energy. You might feel it as a heaviness or warmth, and however you experience it is all good. It grounds you in to being here right now and that's where the oils can be such a great enhancement. 

Patchouli Essential Oil

So one of the oils that I think is a little bit of an unsung hero, and it might be hiding at the back of your box or your cupboard is Patchouli. And I love my Patchouli because it's got this really earthy aroma. And it helps us to really feel our body physically. So often people live in their heads and they're a little bit disconnected from their body, and maybe they have some reasons for that, maybe they don't like their body; Patchouli has a great ability to help us feel our body, accept our body, be in our body. So for a mindfulness practice it's a perfect complement. 

The way that I use it is I like to at the beginning of my practice just put a drop on my hands and this isn't new you if you've been using oils, this is like the very basics, but it's still awesome; you just breathe it in. And I always set an intention, so it might be just to feel secure in my day today or it might be to see beauty in the world around me. There is literally only right answers to that, but I do always an intention when I breathe in my oil, and then I to put my Patchouli on the soles of my feet. I’ll rub it on the soles of my feet because that helps me feel really stable, and this oil is a really grounding earthy essential oil. So I just imagine that from my feet there are these nice big roots that go into the air and that gives me that really stable feeling. 

Arborvitae Essential Oil

Now there's a couple other essential oils that actually are really lovely for grounding. Arborvitae—so this one is grown in the temperate rainforests and it's these big cedars and they are these huge, huge trees and they have these massive roots that are just like so grounded. I use this one the same way as my Patchouli, and it's another one that helps us just feel really steady. 

Yoga Essential Oil Blends

I also love the essential oil yoga blends that doTERRA released a couple of years ago, and I use them very often during my mindfulness practice. I use Anchor on my feet because it helps to ground us—that's the grounding one. Then I love to use Align over my heart so that my heart is aligned with my body physically and my spirit and my mind, everything in union. And then finally, Arise, and I put a drop of that on the top of my head to help me remember that I'm connected to something greater than just me. 

Essential Oils and Mindfulness

And so those are some essential oils that you can use. Now, if you use your essential oils every time you practice that mindfulness, what you start to create is this really cool mental anchor where you have this association between that aroma and that particular mental state or mental way of being. So what happens is over time when you just even smell the essential oil you'll find you're just quickly transported back to that particular way of being, that consciousness. And so that's a really great tool when you're out and about in the world. 

And having a formal practice for mindfulness, what it helps to do is it helps to spill over into the rest of your life, and that would be the second most common way to practice mindfulness which is just everyday living. That's kind of considered like an informal practice. So that would be when you're driving in your car, and you come to a red light, and you just are at the red light, like you feel your body being supported by the chair, the seat, and you hear the music on the radio. Or it might be stepping out of your house, and noticing the wind on your face, and breathing in the fresh air, or it could be going out for coffee, and really hearing and listening to your friend. It's being fully awake and aware in that moment, in every moment. 

Mindfulness Challenge

And so I actually have a little challenge for y'all, and I call this my mindfulness challenge. So, so often when we get bored, we distract ourselves, so we pull out our phones, right? We're waiting in the grocery store line or whatever it is, this happens all the time, and we pull out our phones. We sort of distract ourselves. 

And so my challenge for you is to use that as a mindfulness practice, like to have this little mindfulness pause. And so instead as soon as you feel the urge to pull out your phone and distract yourself, instead what you're gonna do is instead you're gonna pull out your essential oil. I think the little key chains are the perfect way to keep your oils with you all the time. So whatever oil you're gonna choose to be your mindfulness oil—Patchouli or other—you're gonna just pull that out of your little keychain, put it on your hands, breathe it in, and then just feel where you are. Use your five senses to really experience that moment that's happening right then. Do that for a little while, and then, if you want to scrawl on your phone it's OK. Because now you've given yourself these little moments in your day for mindfulness, and it's an easy way to just incorporate it into your daily life. 

And I hope these little tips help you to get more benefit out of your essential oils and live a life that is just radiant and well.

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