Sometimes stopping in our tracks is a good thing. Stopping to think about all of the things we are grateful for and relishing a moment to breathe in clean, fresh air (where possible with pollution becoming a greater issue- more on that another day maybe?).
I often wonder to myself whether I could spend some more time looking after me personally. I spend so much time consuming myself with other people's problems, or trudging through the internet looking for a new story to read about. But why? I sit here and ask. Why do I spend more time caring about other peoples life stories when I could be writing new chapters of my own?
According to dictionary.com mindfulness is:
- The state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.
- A technique in which one focuses one's full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.
Mindfulness can be practiced pretty much everywhere. For example, in the shower you can spend an extra 2 minutes feeling the way in which the water hits your skin, smelling the warm muggy air in which the sweet aromas of your favourite shower gel is filling, and breathing the clean air. It doesn't have to take long, but the more you practice focusing on the now, rather than the then or later, the more at peace you will feel.
Put away your phone for a moment, look around you, see the beauty in your day. Open the window, enjoy that earthy scent that the ground produces when the rain hits soil, enjoy the noise of the water dripping from the gutter and the wind whistling against the window.
Don't just look at your life through your Instagram feed and the photos in which you are taking, put your phone and your camera away, and enjoy the elegance of the Earth, through your own eyes. Feel the breeze sweep across your face until your eyes are streaming, the sensitivity in which you would never feel if your were looking down at your mobile device.
Stop. Breathe. Feel.
Feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck when aghast from the grace in which you feel when you see a gaggle of geese swoop past your own head. Enjoy the feeling because it is unique, special, a feeling of wonderfulness.
How will I practice mindfulness you might ask?
- I will bake more, baking for me is something that puts me in a state of presence. When baking I am only in that moment, I am not thinking about the anguish in my past or the angst of my future, I am thinking about what I am doing in that minute. I am thinking about the syrupy scents drifting past the heavy burnt glass doors of the oven into the warm, homely kitchen. I am thinking about every ingredient in which I am pouring into the concoction of sugariness. I'm not worried about what has just happened or what is to come in the future.
- I will read more, when reading I can concentrate on that one thing, that one plot that is gripping me into that book. I don't care about the sorrow of the day or the world. I am enjoying the emotions in which that book is taking me on a journey through. I am enjoying that very exact moment.
There are so many ways in which you can practice the globes new phenomenon, and it isn't just limited to the ways in which I have described above. I know I am going to practice it more in 2016, are you?