A butterfly mindfully basking in the sun.
A few months ago, I joined a small group to practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a term that you might come across quite frequently these days. Perhaps you have already heard of it. Perhaps you even practice it yourself. Mindfulness is often described as a practice of doing everyday things in a mindful way by, basically, simply paying attention to what you do when you do it, or, by simply letting go of your thoughts without judging them.
In my group, we often listen to meditations, count our breaths, and scan our bodies for any discomfort in order to release it. In our relaxed positions, we become more aware of sounds around and within us. These sessions are very relaxing and soothing. I often wish the sessions were longer.
However, already after ten minutes of meditation, I can feel a difference in my body and mind. Gone is the stress I had encountered at the office earlier, gone is the argument I had had, gone are any to do lists. At the end of the meditation when we are asked to open our eyes, I often wish the meditation would continue. However, we always get homework to do in order to practice mindfulness during the sessions. These tasks vary from washing your hands in a mindful way (feeling the water, looking at your hands etc.), eating and drinking more slowly, to noticing the blooming trees on the way home. The latter is my favorite. Nature always reminds me that nothing can be rushed. Life is not meant to be rushed.
No seed blooms from one day to another; no tree bears fruit on the first day of spring. Yes, indeed, looking at trees on my way home not only is a great exercise after the meditation session. It is a reminder of our Mother Earth, that life is not a to-do list but a wonder in itself that is supposed to be enjoyed mindfully. Therefore, next time you feel like rushing through your day trying to get everything done, find a tree or something similar in nature that you enjoy looking at, and remind yourself that nature takes its time but accomplishes complex biological processes in miraculous ways every single day.
Copyright © 2016 by Barbara Bullock, Photo credit © 2016 by Barbara Bullock
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