An introduction to mindfulness memes
Can memes help us out along our mindfulness journey? What even is mindfulness? If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it – and there’s no WiFi signal – can we authentically claim to be present in the moment?
Mindfulness is the increasingly fashionable idea that problems with our mental health can be resolved or mitigated by focussing on our own thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.
This typically happens through meditation, or via other related spiritual practices – yoga, gong baths, assorted alternative therapies.
But what if we told you there’s a way to achieve this mythical zen-like state not through crystals or incense sticks, but instead via the transcendental magic of memes?
BREATHING WITH MEMES
The foundation of a basically all mindfulness practice is breathing. Okay, that might sound obvious. The foundation of everything is breathing. But, like, there’s breathing, and there’s… breathing.
Breathe slowly, deeply. Take your time. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Like that nice Wim Hof guy says all the time.
Whatever prompts you to take two minutes and pause, inhale deeply, hold it for a few seconds, then release, then repeat, is all good. Most of us, most of the time, don’t breathe deeply enough. You’ll feel better for it, we promise.
ACTUAL YOGA MEMES
The philosophy behind yoga emphasizes unity of mind, body, and spirit, and encourages practitioners to cultivate self-awareness and mindfulness, and to live a balanced and harmonious life.
Stretch your body. Feel its sinews strain, reach your limit, then hold it. Parts of you that aren’t used to having sensation, suddenly have sensation. You’re alive! A living, breathing, glorious natural system.
It makes you calm, even as it makes you strong. It’s powerful magic.
BODY SCANNING MEMES
There’s a school of thought that suggests – having already got yourself into a comfortable position and found a good, steady rhythm of breathing – you should apply your thoughts systematically to each body part in turn.
This will concentrate positive energy and, in doing so, remedy pain and promote holistic wellness.
Is there merit in this idea? Sure there is. Mindfulness, at its core, is about lifting your eyes from the petty distractions of day-to-day human existence, and instead taking a pause to contemplate our own fabulous, unique and irreplaceable physical form.
MINDFUL WAKING MEMES
First thing in the morning is the perfect time to kick off your mindfulness journey for the day. You pretty much need to stretch your body anyway. And that’s just kind of yoga, right?
How does the carpet feel under your bare feet? What are the birds saying this morning? What did you dream about? How good does that first sip of coffee taste?
How we start the day absolutely sets the tone for what follows. Give yourself the best possible start with kindness, a healthy bite to eat and a fat dollop of optimistic positivity
LOVING AND KINDNESS MEMES
Whenever I stop to dwell on my own particular set of worries – AI is coming for my job! Climate change will kills us all! – I stop and reflect on how lucky I am to love, and be loved.
Cultivating warm, healthy relationships with my immediate family – not all of them, several of them suck – and friends, being generous with my time and energy, using my spare happiness to prop up other people’s wellbeing.
That’s the true mindfulness. Sustainable, reciprocal acts of kindness, both mystic and at the same time extremely earthbound.
And there you have it. Memes can indeed provide an essential component to any worthwhile mindful journey, bringing us closer by degrees to the ultimate goal of inner peace and harmony.
Look after yourself, look after your environment, and look after each other.
It’s about warmth, and empathy, and above all sharing.
Because sharing is what life – and memes – are all about.
While we’re here, does anybody know IS IT PRONOUNCED GIF OR JIF?