There is understated expectation to be consistently busy with our schedules. Between family, friends, work and daily to-do lists, time seems to slip away. And with time slipping, social media beckoning and social calendars filling, a 24 hour day doesn’t feel like enough. How can we simplify? How can we practice mindfulness?
Take a moment to breathe and focus
This is always the first step. Our lives consist of to-do lists and demanding responsibilities. And these are a joy! Our families, friends and careers are pivotal points of our lives that we work hard at. The discipline of making your mind quiet itself brings your present to focus. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or in the middle of a big meeting, or even a walk down the street. “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” (Sharon Salzburg.)
The fruits of multi-tasking are meager. And the technology at out fingers can seduce us into thinking we can do it all. And we can, but not always well, and rarely without receiving stress knots in our shoulders. Let’s try single-tasking more often, pouring our best efforts into the tasks in front of us. And paying special care to the people in front of us.
Perhaps one of the most impactful practices of a mindful life, meditation is a time for you. To think, breathe, focus, be quiet. Being mindful of balance by taking our minds off what’s to come and allowing ourselves to let go of what’s behind. This practice allows us to set aside time to release the need to control what is happening, and instead to absorb what is right in front of us.
It is human nature to desire the best for ourselves. As we strive for whole and healthy lives an attitude of gratitude is essential in practicing mindfulness. When we spend time undistracted and present, we are able to reflect on things. A thankful spirit brings incredible presence. You are able to release the troublesome thoughts of “what if,” “when,” “how,” and “why.” Instead we pay attention to the things in our lives that have blessed us, making us mindful of our present state.