Mindfulness has been a big buzz word lately, and I think there’s a good reason for that. Have you ever had a day where you barely noticed anything around you, or eaten a meal that you don’t remember tasting?
Mindfulness is the act of maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment (via Greater Good at Berkeley). Mindfulness does not have to look like sitting in meditation for 20 or even 2 minutes, it does not mean smelling like incense, and it does not have to mean humming mantras to yourself all day long.
Mindfulness can mean: stopping to smell a flower, pausing before crossing the street to lift your face to the sun and soak it in like a cat would, taking one deep breath at a red light, noticing how your lips curl up at the corners when you spot a dog rolling around in the grass or snow in pure, honest joy.
I know that you probably lead a busy life – I know I do. But I promise you, mindful moments are possible – and necessary.
Here’s how being mindful looked for me today, and how little time it actually took. (Side note: Monday is one of my busiest days, so this was eye-opening to reflect on).
Early morning: Before I began getting ready for work, I drank warm water with lemon squeezed in it, read today’s page from Tama Kieves’ A Year Without Fear book, and did 3 abbreviated sun salutations. (Total time: 6 minutes).
Late morning: Vented the sun roof of my car and noticed the warmth of the sun on my head. (Total: 30 seconds).
Mid-day: I had 10 minutes between clients, and rather than answer emails, I sat in the sun (can you tell I like the sun?) in Columbus Circle with a smoothie, and just watched people walk by me. (Total time: 10 minutes).
Mid-afternoon: While at a stoplight, I noticed that I was holding tension in one shoulder and was also holding my breath, so I exhaled and re-aligned quickly. (Total time: 30 seconds).
Late afternoon: While walking home, I noticed the sounds of the birds, the fact that it was still perfectly light out at 5:30pm, and the physical sensation of not wearing a hat or gloves. (Total time: 2 mins).
So my question for you is – how can incorporate mindful moments into your daily life? What sights, sounds, smells, or physical sensations can you take a moment to notice right now?
Please leave a comment below, I look forward to hearing from you! If you’d like additional support about increasing mindfulness in your life, please contact me directly – I offer individual sessions and have a self-care workshop this Friday 3/13 in Midtown Manhattan.
Here’s to noticing mindful moments – they truly are all around us.