Today, I feel guided to talk about mindfulness. I am aware that it is already common knowledge, so I am not going into the definition of the term. Besides, the message is always the same, but it is just told in different ways, or different words. When I sat down to write an article, I thought I would choose from the ones that I had written earlier, and maybe just edit one of those, or add something, but something told me to write on this awareness of presence, that most people call, mindfulness. It could also be called, being present in the moment, as it is known by other people.
It was easier for me to settle on this topic, since I had thought of it the day before, and even scribbled it among the other topics that I have not gotten to write about yet. It is even easier for me to write, because mindfulness is something that I tend to pay attention to, most times. Of course, not all the time. No, sometimes I am caught up in the rush of this world. More so because I live and work in the city, for now, like most of us do.
As I was walking home today, I began thinking of the occurrences of the day. I thought my day had been so good. I got to this place where I started measuring my footsteps, then I broke out of the trail of thoughts. This was an act to keep my mind on what I was doing, which is, walking. I was then able to keep my mind on the walking, until I got to the house.
So many thoughts flash across the mind in a span of minutes, and it is always so challenging to stay, and follow one thought. From the time that we wake up in the morning, up to the time that we sleep, a lot has occurred in our day, and all we want to do is sleep. It may be the only form of rest that most of us know about, because of the various activities that we get engaged in.
Most times, by the time you get to bed, you remember that there are some things that you did not do during the day. By this time, it is too late to get onto those tasks, and this only leaves the next day as the only available option. The main message that I am trying to put across is, most of us only think about the completion of a task, other than the fine details that lead up to the completion of the task, the build-up to the completion.
We are hardly ever present, or aware of the experience of the different activities that we take part in. We then come up with vague words as, “the food was good, or the ride was good”. The truth is, you were most probably doing other things, besides doing the main task. Can you give a hundred percent at the task that you are doing? It is doable.
What is the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning? After you push over the bedding, and open your eyes? I am sure most will say that they pray, others will say that they rush to the bathroom. Some will start the day with some workout. I would like to challenge you to be more aware of these details, from the time that you open your eyes. What is the first thought that crosses your mind? How do you react to this thought? If the first thing that you do is pray, are you aware of this process? Does each word in the prayer mean something to you, or is it just something that you were taught to always do, the first thing in the morning?
If you are going to wash your face first, do you first feel your feet make contact with the floor, as you head to the sink? Let yourself feel every step that you make towards that sink, and still be aware of what you are thinking as you do this. When you get to the sink take some time to feel the water make contact with your hands. Feel the temperature of the water, and as your face makes contact with both the water, and your hands, feel that too. Do it slowly and not in a hurry. If you do it hastily, you will not register the details, and may fail to get the excitement in the experience.
If you are going for the workout, be aware of the feeling on your body with every change in position, and changes in the workout. Also, be aware of what goes through your mind, when these changes occur at every stage of the workout. Be at present with the body. If you are doing the legs, put all your concentration there, until you shift to the next part, I strongly advise that you keep the watch, or clock away until you are done with the workout.
For those who start, or end the day with a shower, make sure to take your time. Feel the water hit your body, feel the temperature of the water, is it cold or warm? Feel the water falling, or flowing from the top of your head to your toes, just enjoy that before you start scrubbing. Take your time and do not rush. Remember that the ultimate goal of every experience is, enjoyment.
Participate in the daily activities aware of every step that build them up. Be meticulous as if you are performing a ritual, and that you cannot skip any step in the ritual. Indeed, these activities we do are rituals, we are just not aware of them. Now, you know that if you skip a step in a ritual, then you may not achieve the desired goal, so it does with our day-to-day activities.
Let’s pay more attention to these activities, cheers, and stay tuned for the second part. Namaste.