Your elopement day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. But without intention, it can come and go in a blink of an eye. It can be spent in a frantic or stressed-out mood, worrying about everything going exactly as you planned. This guide should teach you how mindfulness can help your elopement.
Practicing mindfulness can help ease feelings of stress and worry. Mindfulness can help your elopement by helping you really soak in your day and relive the moments over and over again. So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment without judgment. Let’s unpack the first part.
What Does Being Fully Present in the Moment Mean?
I want you to think about how often your thoughts are focused on the:
- What you need to buy from the store, what you’re going to make for dinner, plans for the weekend, the growing to-do list for work
- Thinking about something someone said, rehashing an old conversation, thinking about what you coulda, shoulda, woulda done differently
- The here and now
There is a short questionnaire you can take to see how mindful you are. It’s called the Mindful Attention Awareness Score (MAAS)). I know for me, I hardly ever focused on the now. My thoughts were always distracted by the future or the past.
What Does Without Judgement Mean?
Mindfulness also requires us to not pass judgment on the present moment. For me, this is something I’m still learning how to do. It can be a hard habit to break when you’ve spent most of your life judging every situation. Take the following moment for example:
Judgment: I can’t believe it’s snowing again! It’s the middle of April, the weather should be warmer. I’m so tired of this dreary, grey weather. I hate having to bundle up so much. I’m so uncomfortable. My hands are freezing. I can’t wait for summer to arrive!
Non-Judgment: It’s snowing. I feel the cold wind on my face. I can hear the snow crunching under my shoes. I’m noticing how the frost sparkles in the sunlight. I feel the warmth my hands create when I rub them together.
See the difference? Passing judgment takes you from the present and pulls you into the past or future.
- It deprives you of all the small gems and beauty of the world around us.
- Mindfulness helps you accept the physical feeling of coldness rather than labeling it as good or bad.
- Once you become better at this practice, you can translate that into thoughts and emotions.
- Just like the cold isn’t good or bad, neither are emotions.
- Cold is cold. Happiness is happiness.
- Mindfulness helps you see things for what they are rather than labeling them.
5-minute Mindfulness Exercise
Here’s a simple exercise that can help you get into this mindful state of being. All you need is 5 minutes and your 5 senses. In each step simply observe rather than judge. Don’t rush to the next thing. Stay in the moment as long as you can. Describe the moment in detail. Spend about 1 minute on each step. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Look around you and see 5 things. This can be colors, objects, textures, animals, or even people. Take a few moments to really observe them.
- Feel 4 different things. Keep in mind, you don’t have to feel them with just your hands. This can be the breeze on your cheek, the fabric of your shirt on your back, the carpet underneath your feet, or even the sensation of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth.
- Be aware of the sounds around you and take some time to hear 3 different noises. This can be birds chirping, cars driving by, the humming of the refrigerator, or a distant conversation.
- Smell/taste 2 different things. This can be the smell or taste of a cup of coffee, the smell of fresh-cut grass, or the flavor of the gum you’re chewing on.
- Say 1 amazing thing about yourself. Maybe it’s that you’re kind-hearted, or you donated money today. You could be a good listener or great at singing. It could even be that you put away trash that wasn’t yours or you finally got around to reading that book you’ve always wanted to read.
How are you feeling now? More relaxed and at peace I hope.
What in the World Does This Have to do with Eloping?
I want you to think about your engagement. How much of this time is focused on planning, phone calls, budgeting, organizing your wedding? What kind of feelings are associated with these actions? Frustration? Stress? Being overwhelmed?
- With all the steps involved in planning an elopement, it can feel like you’re losing sight of how precious each detail is.
- I want your engagement to be a time of joy and excitement.
- So I encourage you to take time to be present and take time to just be with your partner.
- I urge you to celebrate each milestone, every detail, and decision.
- When it’s all said and done, it can seem like the whole process flew by, so make a point to spend quality time with your loved one during this amazing time!
Also know that life isn’t always in the habit of giving us what we want so when something doesn’t go quite as planned, take a step back, breathe deep and relax. Take time to be mindful of that moment without passing judgment and remember that you two have decided to love and cherish each other for the rest of your lives. These small hiccups truly aren’t that big of a deal. Trust me on this one.
How to have a Mindful Elopement
I want you to think about your elopement day; the day you’ve been planning and have dedicated so much time and energy to. If you don’t slow down, you’ll miss all the amazing things you were dreaming of! Practice mindfulness during your elopement to soak this time in, memorize every moment, and savor every detail.
- I urge you to take this day slowly.
- Really enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning.
- Take time to smell your bouquet.
- When you’re hiking to your ceremony location, stop every now and then and look at the view.
- Listen to the birds chirping, or even the sound of your heart beating, notice the scent of pine and the feel or your partner’s hand in yours.
Research has found that it’s harder to remember things when we are multitasking but that when we are present in the moment and intentional about remembering the details, we have a much stronger memory. If you want to relive your elopement day, be present, slow down and be mindful of all those details!
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