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YouTube Vloggers – a Lesson in Mindfulness

YouTube Vloggers – a Lesson in Mindfulness – Over the last few weeks I have taken to watching YouTube videos as a way of relaxing. I have watched a variety of different subjects including music, yoga, exercise, how things are made and vlogs. In particular vlogs on people reviewing products, food, shops and restaurants. For me this is pure escapism and I wasn’t watching them with any agenda or needing to get anything in particular from them.

However, I was struck with some of the vlogging videos how positive and engaged some of the presenters were with what they were doing. To begin with I just felt mildly irritated and wondered how they could keep it up, it felt a little false and I was sure it was something I couldn’t do. However, the more that I watched these youtubers taking me on a journey around shops, visitor attractions and restaurants the more I thought about their way of engaging and seeing the world, even the very mundane.

The qualities I identified that they all had in common were that they were curious, open and engaged with what was in front of them. These are qualities that are needed for the activity of narrating the details of something whilst it is happening. The more I watched and thought about it the more I wondered what it would be like if I carried those qualities out into the world. I have no intentions of being a Youtuber, but I was interested to see if these ways of relating to the world made me feel any differently about it.

On Saturday I met with a friend in a small village that I have visited before, that has a number of small quirky shops, a park and beautiful surroundings. I went with the intention of being curious, open and engaged with what was in front of me. What I discovered was that I felt far more present and in the moment. I related with my friend at a much deeper level, I have quite vivid memories of the day, of certain items in shops, the daffodils and grape hyacinth outside the park, the changes in the weather and the feeling of being warm and cold. I found that I was less in my head worrying about the what I was going to do later, I was less judgmental and fundamentally I felt less numb, less like I was sleepwalking through the day until I could leave and drive home.

Essentially these YouTubers are in a way practicing Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a technique you can learn which involves noticing what’s happening in the present moment, without judgement. You might take notice and be aware of your mind, body or surroundings. The technique has roots in Buddhism and meditation, but you don’t have to be spiritual, or have any particular beliefs, to try it.

In order to narrate and tell the viewer a story of what can be a very ordinary activity they have to be curious and open to whatever is in front of them, however unexciting. The YouTubers I watched were also fairly positive about what was in front of them, they weren’t always, but on the whole they approached things with openness, they had opinions but they didn’t prejudge or over judge things. Practicing this, for me, made me look at everyday items more deeply, really see and notice them. It felt good to be more fully present with the moment I was in, it also felt good to be curious and open and not to carry the usual narration of negativity about events, to let go of immediate judgements.

It is my intention to continue to practice this way of relating to the world. I would encourage you to try it out too, play with it and the next time you go to the supermarket pretend you are a vlogger (perhaps without the camera) be open to what and who is there, be noticing, note the layout of the shop, its architecture, its temperature and smell, be curious about the products and where they have come from and be engaged in the activity of shopping for your food.

All we have in life is this moment now! We can be fully present or we can numb ourselves to it. Sometimes numbing ourselves is the way things need to be, but perhaps we can commit to an intention to practice being more present every day in small ways. For myself the idea of being numb all of the time feels like I am missing out on something very important. Missing out on life.

For inspiration explore YouTube for vloggers in areas you are interested in. This YouTuber is one of my particular favourites.

Hannah Ricketts – London – Lifestyle – Travel

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