We began the adventure of mindfulness with awareness of breath, then added sense awareness to our toolkit. This week, you have the opportunity to begin bring the awareness into more and more of your life. This week is about using a mindful movement practice in our daily lives- walking, yoga, or just washing the dishes are all done in movement. Mindfulness is a very simple practice, however, it isn’t always easy. By building from stillness to practicing in movement can help us bridge the gap.
How can we stay present in this moment, while our body is taking us through our lives? Returning to the breath is one way- using the anchor of the breath while walking down the hall, putting the kids to bed, or ordering coffee. The breath is always available, although it is easy to forget to pay attention. Another possibility is using the sense awareness- specifically for the body. In movement, we tend to have very specific bodily sensations that can actually help us become more present. Using the sensation of the muscles moving or the steering wheel in the hands is a great way to come back to the present. Another possibility is using the physical sensations that arise from emotions. When we feel emotions, often there is a body sensation that goes along with it- a lightness of joy, a tightness for stress or overwhelm, a heaviness for sadness. These sensations can be different for everyone. For some individuals, we become disconnected from our bodies as our society encourages using the mind over the body. Being present in the physical sensations that arise with emotions, can remind us to come back to the present moment, again and again.
Conversations or listening provides another opportunity for being present. Mindful or deep listening is a different type of movement rather than moving through space, it requires movement of the mind through comprehension and responding. Often, in listening there is choice of reacting or responding (see Week 2) as well as the possibility with really hearing another human and connecting on a deeper level. Many interactions we have throughout the day tend to be surface listening; waiting for our turn to respond, lost in thought about what is next, or hurrying on to the next appointment. What if through listening (even if to the person on the street), we are able to connect more fully to the present moment, and thus ourselves?
Week 3 Call
Or download mp3 here: Everyday Mindfulness Week 3