For many of us, the moments between setting sail in the morning and dropping anchor in Port Posturepedic are a complete blur.
Rather than actually living life we are getting our long list of things done.
If you are continually in ‘it’s time to make the donuts’ mode, do you know how to live in the moment long enough to enjoy any experience?
Can you remember the loving words your husband or wife whispered in your ear on the fly in between soccer and ballet practices?
Did you really care when you asked the umpteenth person in a day, “How are you?”
When was the last time you stood still and took a good look at yourself — but not in a mirror?
In this age of self help, personal empowerment and Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays, chances are high nearly all who seek to create a happier reality for themselves have heard the term “mindfulness.” If term is new to you, ‘mindfulness’ is the practice of living in the now; being 100% present and aware of only the moment at hand.
Practicing mindfulness is scientifically proven to reduce stress, elevate positive emotions and bolster the immune system. The most commonly suggested mindfulness exercises are meditation and deep breathing. Further, experts advise each should be a daily routine.
While that sounds as lovely as a daily bubble bath or massage, the reality is it’s just not really a reality — really.
The positive news is, you don’t have to come to a complete stop to get your Zen on.
“Active” mindfulness meditation is easy!
Here are 10 mindfulness exercises that will help you learn how to live in the moment:
- When driving,turn off all radios, cell phones and kids. Have everyone in the car be silent for only three minutes, then each tell what they observed in the world around them during that time.
- When in public, look for people who are smiling and laughing.
- When cleaning, bask in the sparkly lights dancing off the crystal clear mirrors, breathe in the open space of the uncluttered kitchen and hold the warm, fluffy towel, fresh from the dryer, to your cheek.
- When loading groceries into the car, look up and note the color of the sky before you drive away.
- When in a meeting observe everyone’s emotional state (including your own) without judgement.
- When speaking, notice the tone of your voice. Feel the shape of your lips and the set of your jaw
- When at or preparing a meal, regard the food and beverage. Spin the plate in a full circle so you can take in all angles before eating. Look down into the glass before drinking. Wait 30 seconds between bites and sips. Breathe, breathe, breathe in the aromas.
- When worried, fearful or angered, accept the emotion without judgement. Just sit with quietly in the emotion and see what resolutions you discover.
- When outside, open your arms as wide as you can — as if you were going to hug Gaia herself.
- When feeling suffocated by life, do not judge the moment. Rather, close your eyes and ‘be’ inside the expansive universe that is your soul.
By being conscious observers, by practicing mindfulness exercises at every opportunity, our life experiences become whole. We eliminate the fretting about what happened yesterday, what will happen tomorrow and fill our head and heart-space with the real experiences of the here and now.