“Mindfulness” is a popular word to throw around but a difficult one to understand, let alone put into practice in daily life. It is the notion of being present, and therein lies the challenge: what does “being” present even mean? The Buddha teaches us not to dwell on the past, not to worry about the future, and simply be in the moment, so perhaps “being present” is just this: let go, don’t fret, and focus on the right now.
I tend to loop on the past, chastise myself for flaws and faults real and perceived, and anxiously anticipate the future. It’s exhausting. Then I’m peeved at myself for said looping, chastising, anticipating, and eventual shame spiraling (le sigh).
But who wants to live an over-thought, over-wrought life? Reading about mindfulness, I discovered the notion of “being present,” and it made me think about a lesson learned during my former legal career. The running joke among lawyers was that fifty percent of our job is simply showing up – for court, for clients, for meetings.
Being present is not unlike this practice of showing up and mindfully engaging; I need to start showing up and being present in my whole life. When I write, I write. When I read, I read. When I teach, I teach.
Today’s post shares some tips for incorporating mindfulness into your daily life.
Move slowly and purposefully. (I tend to crash around and bash into things.) Savor. Participate. Enjoy the process. Life is not a race!
Do one thing at a time
Stop multi-tasking and try uni-tasking. Focusing on one activity at a time ensures that you are fully present in the moment and will actually complete a task.
Nature walks, puppy time or yoga, an hour with a book, or whatever you find restorative and relaxing are not indulges. They are part of balance and commitment to your wellbeing. Taking care of yourself is just as important as working.
When you are with someone else, really listen. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak (right, Katie?); be present and engaged. Such a conversation is more meaningful and memorable.
Take a moment each day to be grateful. Right now, I’m grateful for my home and remote online job in a way I’d never anticipated.
Try a mini meditation: Sit still, close your eyes, and start to repeat the phrase, “I am grateful for . . .” for 30 seconds to one minute.
Let it go
Whatever it is, let it go. A friend let you down. Your supervisor overlooked your work on a project. You broke something again (right, Katie?). Forgive yourself and others. Move on.
Being present without worrying is the kicker. One way I try to dissolve worries about the past and future is to remind myself that every minute I worry about something that already happened or might happen is a minute I’m stealing from my present.
Why rob yourself of presence and participation in your own life? If you don’t show up for yourself, who else will?
How can you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life?
Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!
À votre santé,