No matter how much love and appreciation we have for our family, friends, our home or surroundings, every now and then there comes a time for all the circumstances to be silenced so that we could hear the heart.
These might be 30 minutes before the dawn when everyone at home is still asleep. Or some precious minutes after the sun sets and everyone is already sleeping. The silent morning shower or 15 minutes-drive to work. Lunch break or dinner preparation with doors closed and your favorite music on. A walk in the park or the stroll along the river. Hidden from the world in the secret world of your own.
I have discovered this simple little secret I want to share. The hardest is to train the mind to listen, but once it does, the best way to feel the joy of time slowing down is to get your-self - your body and your mind - to be present here and now.
I know you’ve heard this a million times! But. Quit listening. Act. At this very moment, drop anything you are doing now and stay with me for a minute, one minute to relieve yourself from anything that has been and anything that is yet to come. Give yourself emptiness for one minute and feel the restfulness it brings immediately. I know… Sixty seconds to handle the mind is not easy, isn’t it? Let’s start with five and move to ten tomorrow…
‘In today’s rush, we all think too much – seek too much – want too much – and forget about the joy of just being.’ – Eckhart Tolle says. We would just add that we almost forgot we are not human doings, yet human beings.
We have borrowed 7 tips from Trevor McDonald for slowing down a little and getting our time back for ourselves, even if these are just a couple of minutes a day:
- Avoid autopilot: we all have moments in our day-to-day routine where we’re likely to run on autopilot. If we want to become mindful, let’s make an effort to avoid autopilot. Let’s take extra care to notice your surroundings in these moments when we’re likely to be the least mindful.
- Meditate in the morning: before we do anything else in the morning, let’s sit facing a wall and try to be in the present moment. If our thoughts drift towards anything other than current observations, let’s shift them back to the moment. Meditation should not be stressful nor complicated. Let’s do our best to focus on the present.
- Practice mindful breathing: at least once a day, let’s try to set aside time to practice mindful breathing. The basics of mindful breathing are easy to understand, but the practice can be a challenge. We sit in a quiet space and consciously breathe in and out, focusing on our breaths and nothing else. If we find our mind wandering, let’s bring it back to our breath. Focus is on how it feels as the oxygen enters our body and how it feels as it passes through our lips on an exhale.
- Forgive: too many of us walk through our days with the burden of hurt and hard feelings. Let us free our minds of this burden with forgiveness. Forgiveness is much easier said than done, but it’s a crucial step in learning to live in a present moment. Remember that forgiving someone does not excuse their behavior. It’s also something we do for ourselves and not the other person.
- Limit technology: when we’re on our phones, we’re not living in the moment. Whether we’re reading an article, posting a meme or watching a video, we are caught up in something other than the reality of the present. The reality of the present doesn’t lie in the video or article. It lies in our physical state and surroundings. To become mindful and live in the present, we must address any underlying technology addictions.
- Shift the attitude: when we think of work as a chore, it’s more likely to weigh our mind. Let us try thinking about everything we do as a choice.
- Remind ourselves that we are in control: for better or worse, we are in control of our lives. It’s true that we cannot control every aspect, but we can control how we react to the things that happen.
There is so much inertia in our lives, once the awareness comes, the restfulness and the joy of living comes. May we start with the smallest fractions of times. It can be our daily chores or resting minutes. Once we do our chores, let’s do them with the fullest of our hearts and most of our awareness. Once we have our resting minutes – let’s handle them with the highest of care and the same awareness.
Have you managed to do that, tell us how! :)
Son de Flor