Discover the Power of Mindfulness
Do you ever find yourself driving with no recollection of how you arrived at your destination? Or going through the motions of listening – while not paying attention at all? Or watching TV, while checking Facebook on your phone? I’m definitely guilty.
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I admit, I have struggled with being mindful. I keep thinking to myself (instead of being mindful) “I’m busy! I don’t have time to be mindful.”
But I’ve realized just the opposite, I don’t have time to be mindless – to let the moments of my life pass me by. I don’t want to miss a single thing – interesting conversations with friends, a beautiful sunset, the relaxation of moving my body in yoga, the deliciousness of my first cup of coffee, laughter, tears, hugs.
Mindfulness, like yoga and meditation, is a practice. Living mindfully in the present, without longing for the past or worrying about the future, allows us to find peace. Mindfulness really is the key to contentment.
I had a mindfulness lesson a couple of weeks ago. I lost my phone while on a group bike ride. Unfortunately, it took me 13 miles to realize my phone was gone. I had “un-mindfully” not closed my bike bag.
Google pinpointed my phone near a private road east of Farmersville. The next day my son and I went to find it. We were driving down roads that looked less and less like roads. The final turn was onto a road with a huge mud pit in the middle. Having ridden my bike around mud pits the day before, I had no qualms that I could make it around without incident.
Except I did have a little hint of intuition that said “Wait.” I ignored it and trundled on, not realizing that navigating a two ton car was more challenging than my bike. The right side of my car slid in and wouldn’t slide back out. My son opened his door to mud. I immediately begin to panic. My son was the voice of reason, “Don’t freak out mom.” We called the local tow company who promised us the bill would be $325 but they couldn’t promise that they could actually get us out. Then I really panicked. Next we called AAA. Finding our exact location was a ten minute conversation with the dispatcher. That’s when you know you’ve gone rogue.
As my son walked in one direction and I in another, I tried to figure out what exactly the situation was trying to teach me. I love this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh. And that’s exactly what I needed to do. Slow down. Be mindful. Smile. And that’s all the advice I’m going to give you.
While I didn’t recover my phone, the very friendly (and attractive!) tow truck driver did pull my car out. And as my son pointed out as we drove way in the very muddy car, we met a very helpful gentleman and a couple of sweet dogs. Even better, my son and I enjoyed our time and laughed together.
As we come into the holiday season, try to cultivate the art of mindfulness. Enjoy every bite of deliciousness as you give thanks for your blessings. When you spend time with your family, maybe better known as the people who drive you the craziest, remember to laugh, if it’s with them or at them. Cherish your days away from work (and avoid the temptation to do any shopping), and enjoy down time nurturing your soul or time with friends. Get exactly what you need and enjoy every mindful second of it.
And remember, this moment, right now, is the only one we can be completely sure of. Live in it and find joy.