A JOURNEY OF MINDFULNESS
Today while I was laying in Savasana, I felt the deepest sensation of inner calm all over my body. I did NOT want to get up for anything in the world.
But then, I thought to myself, what if I could choose to carry this feeling with me as I step off my mat? With that, I got motivated to try this. So, I slowly sat up and took a breath.
I still felt calm.
Then I rolled up my mat and slowly walked out of the room. I had some small conversations with the people around me and the whole time, I still felt calm.
Then, as I was putting on my socks, I noticed myself start to rush and feel impatient to finish the act of putting on my socks. But why? What would getting my socks on any faster really do for me? So, I paused. I took another breath, found that inner calm again, and slowly continued. This time, I really started to enjoy the simple act of just… putting on my socks!
This concept of mindfulness was first introduced to me when reading a little Pocket Thich Naht Hahn book that I happened to pick up several years ago from the little Tibetan store at Water Street Market in New Paltz. He has a whole chapter devoted to taking what he calls “A day of mindfulness”. He suggested picking a day of the week where you don’t have much going on, a day “during which you are completely the master.”
During that day, be completely aware of the fact that you are doing everything that you are doing. Every dish that you wash, every step that you take, you watch yourself do it and maintain a half smile.
One thing that I love about Thich Naht Hanh, is that his teachings are so simple and they really help me sink into a spiritual place, without getting too serious about it. While I am reading his teachings, just when I am starting to furrow my brow in concentration, he will suggest a smile. Then, my entire energy shifts to a light, peaceful, pleasant sort of mindfulness.
Even if you don’t have an entire day off to practice your mindfulness, see if you can take one hour a week to just be, to watch yourself move through life. When you are getting too serious, break out a smile and see what happens.
After practicing that one hour week for a little while, mindfulness will start to leak into all of the other aspects of your life, maybe without you even noticing it at first. Maybe your friends will start to notice that you are little bit calmer and more grounded. Maybe you generally feel happier or more patient. I mean, what a difference… going from impatience and urgency to peace and enjoyment just in that little moment of putting my socks on today. Give it a try and let me know what happens!