There are aspects of mindfulness that so important that we should really consider them life skills.
The first one I want to share is the practice of being aware of thoughts, feelings, and sensations without reacting to them.
Feelings, thoughts, or sensations are not inherently good or bad, kind or unkind. And we aren't good or bad for having them. We can not control, and are not responsible for, thoughts, feelings, and sensations. We can, with awareness, choose how to respond.
No matter what comes up in us, it is possible to choose from a range of possible responses. For example, when I feel angry, there are many possible responses, both internally and externally. I may have a strong impulse to yell, but it is possible to be very angry and quiet, aware, and open to the feeling. This is a mindful experience of anger.
The practice of mindfulness builds awareness in us, helping us to notice the sensations, feelings, and thoughts that we usually react to unconsciously. We can use mindful practices to pause and notice body sensations, breath, thoughts and feelings, helping us to stay present rather than get hijacked by the experience.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.