I felt drawn to sharing some of my journey with you today.....
Lately I've been doing a lot of personal work around mindfulness. For me, 2017 has been a very full, busy, and somewhat stressful year at times, including lots of change. With everything whirling in life, I recently had an awareness around how how much my mind tends to be preoccupied with either the past or future....dissecting what has happened, or thinking about, & mentally preparing for what's coming up. I've caught myself being very preoccupied with lots of stuff that doesn't have a thing to do with the present moment. I know that when I focus more on being mindful, in the present moment, I'm a much happier human. I realized recently that It was time for me to focus on realigning my habits in this area. Everything is habit. Being mindful is a habit. Like any other habit, It can be easy to also fall out of, as I feel like I did a bit this past year. Like any other habit, all we need to do is simply work to create it again.
A habit of regular mindfulness doesn't need to require super dedicated spiritual work, lengthly meditations, and reading 5 personal growth books on the topic. Yes, all of those things are great, super helpful, and would support your efforts a lot. At the same time, it also doesn't need to be that complicated.
I've been practicing simple mindful habits to bring myself back into the present more often, and I feel the habits beginning to return & stick already. Below are some simple things I've been working on, that have been helping me to be more in the moment, more of the time, allowing me to fully engage in the moments of my life more, and I'm loving the hell out of it! Try some of these things on for size, and see how you can create the habit of being more mindful. Experience how being more in the moment makes life feel so much sweeter. As I've focused more on this lately, life does feel sweeter. I feel happier, less stessed, and much more grateful for everything that fills my life.
- Every morning when I wake, I take at least a little time to sit with myself, breathe, check in on how I'm feeling emotionally and physically. I mentally set intentions for the day. I feel some gratitude for life. I set a strong intention to remind myself to be mindful throughout the day. I sometimes do a guided meditation, or simple sit with myself for a little bit. Don't feel like you have time in the morning? I've used that excuse too, but let me tell you that just 5 minutes of this time right away when you wake up, if that's all you have, can set your day up to feel so much better.
- Breathing. Throughout out the day I simply bring my attention to my breathe. I take 3 conscious breathes, following the inhale and exhale, and this easily brings me more present in the moment.
- Checking in with how I feel emotionally, and physically. Simply internally asking myself what emotions I'm feeling at any given moment, and acknowledging them. Bringing my attention to how I feel in my body, and paying attention to how I feel physically.
- Checking in with my senses through out the day. Experiencing my sense of touch through focusing on how amazing the warm water feels when I'm in the shower in the morning, or when I'm doing the dishes. Feeling the cold air and rain on my face when I walk outside. Feeling how comfortable my new bed is when I crawl in at night, and how soft the inside of my favorite sweatshirt is. Fully bringing my attention to my sense of smell in my nose when I'm cooking garlic, outside smelling the aromas of the trees and moss around me, or the salt water of the puget sound. Taking a moment to really hear the tones of the birds singing in the morning, the chorus of sounds around me when I'm walking down the street, and how sweetly my favorite music hits my eardrums. Being fully present with my sense of taste when I take my first delicious sip of coffee in the morning, or sit down to a really good dinner after a very long day like I did last night. Bringing my attention to my sense of vision has been taking longer moments gazing into my dog's eyes (my bestie for almost 14 years now) while admiring her adorable face, taking in the beauty if the produce section at my local food coop, and always taking in the opportunity to gaze gratefully at the view of the mountains and the puget sound from the beautiful little city I live in. What my senses are experiencing in any given moment is affected by what is happening in that exact moment, so by bringing my attention to one of my 5 senses, I'm naturally bringing my attention to the right here and now.
If the next couple of weeks includes holiday celebrations with friends & loved ones, do yourself a favor, and be as present as you can. Really enjoy being in the moment with those around you. This is what will make the holidays feel most special. I'm heading to the beach with some family & friends to cozy up in a cabin, cook good food, hike, and take walks on the beach in the rainy pacific northwest weather. I plan to fully feel the wind & rain on my face & earth beneath my feet, smell the rainforest, hear the ocean waves, see the amazing beauty around me, taste the delicious meals prepared with love, and be as present as I can when engaging in conversation & games to the very best of my ability.
Life simply consists of a series of moments. Showing up for the moments is showing up for your life.
Wishing you a beautifully present & joyful holiday week!