I am so mindful these days about how busy, active and frazzled most people in my world are. Traffic, schedules, meetings and even “holidays” can place us constantly in the “doing” mode vs the “being” mode. Reacting constantly to the environment, obligations and diaries creates an external locus of control and a lack of centeredness, balance and equilibrium. The operative word here – REACTING i.e. a “created automaticity” – moving mindlessly from one task, appointment, activity to the other.
Can it be any different? The answer is indeed yes. RESPOND vs REACT is the shift that is needed. Mindful vs MINDLESS. And it may be easier than you think. A moment by moment awareness of what’s going on, by connecting with yourself first, helps move the “doing” to the “being”. Awareness is a powerful tool, of creating connection with the environment and yourself – creating choice and responsiveness. The benefits are huge with respect to managing the stress of being in auto-pilot, by also taking RESPONSibilty for whats going on. Medically, lowering stress, one of the “silent diseases” of this lifetime, has profound impact on preventing illness and promoting vitality!
Practically speaking, here are some tips:
Breathing – something that we do thousands of times a day, unconsciously. Something so simple, profound and accessible. Just one deep breath – a deliberate breath, can move you from automatic to PRESENT. It can take you out of the wieldy and tangled knots of your mind space to really be AWAKE to whats happening around you, and even inside you.
A fully mindful activity once in a while – Activities like cycling, as an illustration, is something that require concentration and focus. You can’t really cycle and answer the phone, or emails (at least, I hope not!). Find an activity like this – that require an immersion into what you are doing. Bird watching? A walk outside connecting to sounds only? Gardening? Be creative..
A mindful meal or cup of tea – Try drinking or eating – just one meal by either being silent, and/ or away from your phone. Close your eyes for a second and taste and experience the food.
There are so many other “small” things that you can try to bring presence, joy and “awakeness” to your life. Choose to do one. For one day.
What do you have to lose?