Mindfulness – The Rich Life
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Mindfulness – The Rich Life

Walking along a beautiful nature trail, crunching those fallen golden leaves under our feet, hubby says, “ so what’s your schedule for tomorrow (Monday).  A very common question for him.  My response has lately become, “Let’s not talk about tomorrow right now, let’s just focus on here and now and take it in.”  May sound corny but it’s become very natural for me.  I don’t want to lose the experience we set out to enjoy, or to be really corny – I want to revel in it.

At my daughter’s wedding (6 years ago), my one piece of advice to her on that day was, “focus and feel each part of the wedding for it goes by in the blink-of-an-eye and it will then feel like a dream.”

Did you ever drive someplace and when you got there you didn’t even remember driving?  It’s as if you were on auto-pilot.  That’s often how we live our lives.  We go through the motions and land up where we need to be.  And then we wonder about the blurriness of it all.   Like the eveready energizer bunny, we just keep on going.  Wind us up and we’re off.    But where’s the joy, the richness, the engagement??  It’s all so fleeting and oftentimes unnoticeable.

At some point we may wake up and realize, wow where did it all go?  Now truth be told, time goes very fast no matter how we live it.  As Gretchin Rubin says, “The days are long but the years are short.”  So we need to really pay attention to our days for they become our lives.

Our experiences becomes that much richer when we pay attention, when we’re fully present , when we’re focused on the now.  Not on tomorrow’s lists and schedules  or yesterday’s annoyances and aggravations; not on tomorrow’s plans and yesterday’s mistakes.

There’s certainly time to make our lists and set up plans, and to ruminate over our latest foibles and agitations.  But let’s enable ourselves to have more completely engaged times where we can truly enjoy our doings by dwelling in them at the moment.

And that’s called being mindful.  Yes, the word that’s going around nowadays.  But much more than a word, it’s a concept for a way of living our life.

When we’re washing those dishes, we feel that warm soapy water.  We may even enjoy the smell of the soap, the froth, the squeaky clean plates and shiny glasses.  It may not seem like such a nasty chore when we view it differently.

There are many well-researched benefits to mindfulness.  Thoroughly engaging in and feeling our lives  is a big one, or as my mindfulness teacher says, “falling awake” to life.

I’m sure you can see how if you stay focused and present with your activity and don’t go off in your head about all the other things waiting to be done, you can enjoy what you’re doing that much more.  Anxiety is held at bay since you’re not thinking of what’s to come or what’s not getting done.

Try focusing on a couple of activities in your day.  When sitting at a red light in your car, take some deep breaths and when the light changes and the car in front of you doesn’t immediately move, wait it out and don’t push on the honker.   Take your shower and really feel the warm/hot water spraying down on you.   It’s not just about  appreciating it knowing not everyone has a hot shower, but really enjoying it too.   (In a public speaking class, the assignment was to talk about something that gives us pleasure; a guy spoke for 2 minutes on the joy of taking his morning hot shower and how that starts off his day in a most positive way.)

 

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh”

What will you be mindful of today?  What will you “fall awake” to?  

2 thoughts on “Mindfulness – The Rich Life

  1. @ilze_millere says:

    Thank you for the reminder to focus on the now, just in time. I always enjoy your blog posts as a small retreat in my e-mail. Keep going!

    1. Thanks for your comment/encouragement. Glad to provide a ‘small retreat’ in your life.

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