I took a bike ride early in the morning and a mile into the ride I realized that I had no idea how I got to be where I was. I mean I knew I was traveling on a bike but the roads, the cars, the people, absolutely no memory. So what happened? I went on autopilot. I missed the birds chirping, the breeze in my face, the pristine blue skies. I had missed it and I would never get those moments back. But I did realize it in time. It was actually a gift to my day because from that moment I became mindful and started to notice all the details around me.
I bet you can relate to this in some way. How often have you arrived at a destination and stopped to realize that you don't remember the roads you took or the stop signs you stopped at? This can be a frightening realization. The same happens in our day-to-day moments.
Think of all the roads not traveled, the sights not seen, the love not acknowledged.
Mindfulness is a way to connect to every moment and to just acknowledge. Not every moment holds amazement or glory but every moment is a moment we are alive and breathing and living. Mindfulness is not about changing our situation or circumstances. It is about acknowledging the moment for what it is. In your moment you may notice loud noises, unappealing sites and smells, but what if, in those moments you could reach through and find the shimmer, and the beauty? It is there in the simple things, I promise.
So how do you live mindfully? Follow these simple steps and get started.
1. Become conscious of the incessant chatter in your mind. This is crucial. If you stop and go with your thoughts you will notice that they are endless. Your thoughts will drift from what's for dinner, to making that doctor's appointment to how that person walking down the street looked at you. Stop right now and just go with your thoughts. You will notice the chatter. The greatest part of this is that if you are able to notice this it you are being mindful. You are right now with your thoughts. Start here and soon you will be able to replace the chatter with controlled mindful consciousness.
2. Stop throughout the day and just be still. In your moments of stillness you will find peace and love and joy. You will slowly learn to appreciate and honor each moment for just that, a moment in your life. Your moments will become mindful and much appreciated.
3. Hold your own hand and have a conversation. This may sound a bit wacky but very important. Do you ever hold someone's hand, a child's perhaps, a friend's, a spouses? In some way it brings calm and connection. It can also bring a feeling of safety. So what if, instead of waiting for another person's hand to hold, you take a hold of your own hand. Comfort and love yourself. Feel the safety you can bring in that simple handhold. It is an act of love that you can give to a person that really matters, you. While holding your hand have a conversation with yes, you. Connect with yourself and find out what is really going on. Become your own friend and find that companionship powerful.
4. Go on more walks. Walks are not just for exercise. It is a time to connect with nature and your senses. While on your walk consider what you see, hear, smell, feel and yes possibly taste. In these moments you will be mindful with all that is around you and learn to appreciate each moment for what it is.
5. What is the meaning of this moment? Now it is time to explore the question of meaning. What is the meaning of life? Perhaps the meaning is the moment. What does each moment bring to you, a lesson, a gift, an act? Find the meaning of the moment and live it.
Mindfulness can bring you joy. In each moment you will find a moment to live, a moment to love. Hold on to these moments and honor them. Next time you are going on a bike ride remember to be mindful. Don't miss out on all that is around you. We all only have a bit of time here. What a waste it would be to let any time pass without being fully aware. Love and Mindfulness to All.