Mindfulness and the Mind
A common spiritual practice is to be mindful, which is another way of saying to be present. A common misunderstanding is that mindfulness should be limited to the body’s activities; to its breathing, feelings, and activities.
Sometimes clients say things like, “I struggle to stay present, but I’m worried about my son” or “I want to be present, but I can’t stop thinking about what my sister said to me last week”, etc. They feel that they shouldn’t be thinking about anything but what the body is doing. But the mind is going to continue to think until it does not. So mindfulness must include being present to the mind’s present thoughts, even when those thoughts are about the past or the future.
When you are doing tasks that do not require much thought, like cooking, washing dishes, pulling weeds, engaging in a quiet hobby, etc., you find your mind processing the day just passed, a book read or movie seen, an issue in your life, an insight, something in the past, possible outcomes in the future, etc. This is natural and essential, as processing eventually winds down, leaving your mind quiet so that you can tune into the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) beyond all of those superficial thoughts.
Mindfulness is a way of being with yourself (mind) where you are, which is in this moment. And in this moment you are experiencing a body, yes, but also thoughts. If you try to cut those out of this moment, you are denying part of your experience!