Mindfulness: Well here's one to split the crowd...
And if you immediately said, either out loud or in your mind, ‘oh not that old mumbo jumbo’ then you should definitely read this.
We’ve all heard this buzz word, thrown around in all situations from work to parenthood, from eating to walking. It has become so overused that the real meaning behind this concept has become merely an essence of its former self.
‘Be here now’, ‘Live everyday as if it’s your last’ blah blah blah. If I’m not here, where am I? And there is no way I could eat that much bread each day!
But, have you ever arrived at a bar, restaurant, hotel or town and immediately starting planning when you would/could/should return?
Have you ever become so stress about hosting a party that you start to adopt the ‘can’t wait until this is out the way’ attitude?
How often do you arrive home without remembering the journey?
Or reach for your drink only to realise you’ve already finished it?
Or left the house and panicked about whether you locked the door?
All these situations occur when we are not being mindful, we are being…mindless.
Mindfulness isn’t easy. Despite our best efforts, it is hard to get out, and stay out, of the tracks we have spent a lifetime forging.
(Well jeez Tasha, way to motivate the troops).
It may not be easy but it is possible. The key is to find something that works for you and stick at it.
So here are just a few of the things that work for me:
Go barefoot - just for a moment outside. Whether its to connect with the earth and feel grounded or to just rekindle childhood vibes, it will make you feel better, instantly.
Things change – make the most of themNothing is forever, yet we often live as they are. We cancel on friends, assuming we’ll be able to reschedule. We moan about work, ignoring the good stuff. We play on our phones during family dinners, ignoring both the family and the dinner. But would you behave in the same way if you thought that would be the last night out with friends, day at work, family dinner? Now I don’t necessarily mean this in a morbid way, although obviously that is a reality, but things change. Friends start having babies and acquire in-laws and commitments; companies upsize, downsize and resize; families move away; people become vegan!
Try your best – then the guilt fades away. If you start to be defensive or make excuses then I guaranteed, in almost all cases, it is because you are not trying your best. Pay attention to this one – so simple but has a massive impact.
Turn the noise off – and enjoy what remains. In a world that praises time-efficiency – to the point where we call parents while walking to the bus, catch up on news on the toilet, paint our nails while watching TV and scrolling through social media – it can bring a wonderful sense of calm to just... do nothing.
Let go of the past – experience things a new. Yes yes we all believe we were slimmer, happier, healthier, more flexible, more fun in our 20s/30s/40s. But you are a different person now so stop comparing yourself to…yourself. Think of all you have gained, and lost, and how you have grown. Then grab your current life with both hands…so in another 10yrs you don’t look back and wish you had been more present!
‘A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.’ Muhammad Ail