Mindful Action

When I mention being mindful and the newfound joy of mindfulness, you might think, “Do I have to practice meditation in order to be mindful?”

If you are like me you might have a desire to create a meditation practice and include it in your daily schedule.

If you are like me you have many tasks filling up your ‘To Do’ list and the hours in your day, and then some.

If you are like me, you like to include a walk, a jog or a hike several times a week and let your mind wander.

If you are like me, you find it difficult to sit and meditate. Even for less than five minutes a day you find this a challenge, especially to make it a daily habit.

I’m not proposing that you give up on the idea. By all means, I think a daily habit of meditation could be a highly valuable tool in your toolbox for well-being.

I am proposing, regardless of whether we have a daily habit of meditation; but especially if we don’t, that we find moments throughout our day to be mindful. You’ve heard LaoTzu’s saying ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.’ A long and fruitful journey of well-being starts with one mindful moment.

Take One Task Today, And Be Mindful of It.

Start with just one task today. You will probably find yourself adding mindfulness moments to other tasks throughout your day.

It can be brushing your teeth, hugging your child, eating a snack, driving during your commute—you could even practice mindfulness while reading this post. Take a moment to stop worrying about the future and obsessing about the past by focusing your attention on what is happening in the here and now, the present moment. It will probably help to go through your senses and notice:

What do you hear? Assign a description of it. Right now I hear the sound of the washing machine and the birds. As I type this post, the keyboard is clicking lightly, the birds are chirping outside my office window, the washing machine is whirling.

What do you see? I see the morning light coming through the shades, my semi-messy desk.

What do you feel physically? I feel my hands slightly achy and my neck slightly tense.

I notice I change my posture and take a deep breath. I feel the scratchy material of my office chair on the back of my legs and the tightness of my running shoes on my feet. I notice my skin begin to warm as I pay attention to my own body. I feel a slight tingle in my head. I am aware. I become aware of emotion, I feel excited and grateful for being alive right here in this moment. I start to drift my thoughts towards you in the future…my future readers and wonder if I will succeed in helping you. So, I gently bring my mind back to the task, this moment and return to my senses.
Do you smell or taste anything? Remember to keep your focus on the moment. I have the after taste of coffee. My tongue is pressed gently against the roof of my mouth and I am breathing through my nose. Once I notice my breath again, I notice that I take a deeper breath.

Whatever you describe, acknowledge it. Accept it for what it is and accept your emotion, whatever it is. You can then decide what to do with that later. The point right here, right now is to be aware of now.

You can take a few seconds to a few minutes to do this mindfulness exercise. Try it once daily and you will probably find yourself doing it several times a day. Notice your own results.