HOW TO BE MINDFUL IN EVERYDAY LIFE

IMG_3753

Life is in the little stuff; by showing up for the small we wake up to the big picture. As we let go of story and focus our attention we transform the everyday. Folding the washing becomes a sacred ritual, taking a shower a sensory delight, each step on a walk down the street a meditation of arrival.

Listen to the birds. Flying messengers of mindfulness, those birds, singing for your attention ‘notice me’ they call ‘be awake to the aliveness of this moment’. No App required, no text alerts necessary – just ears. It is always now as the birds are singing, we can use them to help guide us home.

Find your feet. Where our attention goes our energy follows, as we get lost in our heads we can feel a little ‘top heavy’ and out of balance. Sink the anchor of your awareness into your feet, feel your soles against the floor, relaxing the weight of your body into each foot. Breathe into your contact with the ground. As we dive into sensing we release thought, we release tension, we move from clinging on to letting go.

Meditate; if, as, and when you can. But know that mindfulness is much more than meditation alone. Be where you are. Meditation is at the heart of my life, I find myself there, lose myself and find myself again but it wasn’t always this way. We can only ever be where we are and meditation reminds me that there’s nowhere to get to.

Keep it simple; all of life is an opportunity to be mindful, the obstacle is overthinking it.

Advertisements

This is the summer of your life

mindfulness, summer

On childhood summer evenings I would sit by the breeze of my open bedroom window listening to the symphony of the season. The laughter of those children still allowed to play out, the kicking of balls in the park and shouting to friends. Birdsong soared high amongst the barbecue smoke whilst the clinking of glasses accompanied grown-ups chatter below.

How bittersweet those balmy nights, a loveliness and still a longing. A longing for a time when the days would be mine, the laughter my own in a no-bedtime, no-rules, me-time-all-the-time kind of way.

So now, I have arrived. And you have too. Here we are, exactly where we wanted to be back then. This day is ours, this night is ours and it’s us who makes those rules. We made a promise to ourselves that when we got here we would embrace those evenings with all our being, feel the warmth of the sun on our face, that now would be that time.

And yet, how easy it is to shift those jumper goal posts, lost in the mourning mind of summers gone or the longing mind of summers to come. But it is not going to get any better than this, now is the only place we get to experience anything because it is always now. There will, of course, inevitably be the perfect-house-bigger-garden summer that lives in our heads. The one where a slightly thinner and more attractive version of ourselves has our hair windswept whilst driving our top-down Aston Martin. The next holiday, the next job, the next relationship, next month or next summer, that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The wanderings of the mind can trick us into believing that the next lick of the ice cream will taste better than this one. So remember to savour the flavour of this moment. There is little point saving happiness for best like Grandmas crockery.

Feel this summer, own it, squeeze the juice out of it. You have arrived at your destination; this is the summer of your life.

It is always the summer of your life should you choose it to be.