By Dr. Thurkadevi Munikanan (Psychiatrist).
You probably have heard about the seven wonders of the world. In this article, I share with you the seven wonders of the MINDFULGym program.
Mindfulness means remembering to pay attention to the present moment with an attitude of kindness, a beginner’s mind, and wisdom.
This is the mindfulness definition I keep remembering every moment. It is from this profound definition of the MINDFULGym program; my journey in mindfulness started. Being mindful has benefitted me in many ways. Notably, the practice helps me to embrace each moment with curiosity and gratitude.
From the MINDFULGym course, my adventure in exploring and deepening mindfulness training continued with Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). I participated in a 5-day experiential MBCT program by Oxford Mindfulness Center and continued with the further modules.
In each phase of my mindfulness journey, I discover and appreciate more benefits of the MINDFULGym tools for people from all walks of life. Every learning deepens my understanding of what mindfulness is all about. I now share with you the seven beautiful and unique exercises of the MINDFULGym program:
1. Mindful Breathing (Qigong & Valentine styles)
In the traditional mindful breathing, some people find it difficult to pay attention to the breathing sensation, if they were to sit with their eyes closed and bring their attention to their breath. But with mindful breathing (qigong & valentine styles), it is easier to be aware of the breath for calming the mind. The reason is that the skillful breathing approach involve synchronizing the head, hands, and breath movement to cultivate kindful breath and body awareness.
2. Mindful PDF & NOWing
PDF - Prioritize, Delegate & Focus, is an excellent MINDFULGym reminder to be in the present moment with whatever we do. The application of PDF helps us to focus on doing one thing at a time with an attitude of kindness and a beginner’s mind. The tool reminds us that multi-tasking is a thief; it steals our time, energy, and work quality. It is also a great tool to make us aware of how we can be lost in the past and future while doing a chore.
3. Mindful MIYAOW?
In communication, there is often a misunderstanding as we are preoccupied with our thoughts. MIYAOW? - Mmmh, I see, Yaa, Aahh, Oohh, Wow & '?' (asking questions to express interest and care), is a beautiful way to connect with someone emotionally. This incredible MINDFULGym-originated tool quickly helps us to convey to people that they are being listened to, cared, and respected.
4. MINDFULGym Theme Song
The theme song (Happiness is here-and-now) is originally from the Plum Village in France. In the MINDFULGym program, it was creatively adapted to include singing with hand gestures, lyrics in various languages (e.g., Chinese, Japanese), and different music genres (e.g., hip hop version). Singing the song, especially in a group, is fun, and boosts positive energy.
5. Mindful Photography
Taking photos is a common interest, especially among youngsters. Most of the time, we take pictures mindlessly without enjoying photo-taking and appreciating the beauty of we snap with the camera. The art of mindful photography for happiness helps us to pay curious, kind, and grateful attention while taking any pictures. We get to see things from different angles (beginner's mind) and find joy in simplicity.
6. Mindful Vitamin
We often hear people take a vitamin to improve their immune system and increase their energy, which is usually in tablet form. The Mindful Vitamin, another unique MINDFULGym practice, is not a tablet. They are coping statements related to mindfulness that remind us of how to wade difficulties with courage, kindness, and wisdom. It is free and available whenever we need it. Just remember to take it.
7. Gratitude Workout
We often get stuck with negative rumination and feel life is meaningless. 'Google-WWW-Yahoo' is a novel MINDFULGym tool specially crafted to help us to be grateful and contented with life. Coupled with the '12 Gratitude Card Game,' the gratitude workout is a series of powerful antidote to our emotional negativity. Being mindful is not just paying attention; it is paying kind and grateful attention.
Be Free, Be Mindful & Be Happy
I have introduced the seven wonderful MINDFULGym practice. They have a different flavor from my other mindfulness experience. The distinct feeling is not surprising since the MINDFULGym was created with the sole intention to reach out to the multiethnic Malaysian community, whereby I am part of it. May this effort grow even more. Meanwhile, I will continue to learn, practice, and share the wonders of mindfulness with the world*.
Dr. Thurkadevi is a participant of the MINDFULGym Training Of Trainers (MGTOT) course conducted by Dr. Phang Cheng Kar.