We are all preparing for the Christmas/holiday break. Too often life flies by. There is no time to experience what’s happening NOW because we’re busy thinking about what needs doing tomorrow or we’re caught up with thoughts about what did or didn’t happen yesterday. Your mind is chattering with commentary and judgement.
Many of us work in a fast-paced stressful world dealing with a flood of information including email, meetings, text messages, phone calls, interruptions and distractions at work. Family life can also be fast paced as you try to meet everyone’s demands and your own commitments. Thinking about what needs doing and what you didn’t do, getting frustrated, stressed and anxious.
Unfortunately, a good part of our time passes that way for most of us. We’re in one place and doing one thing but thinking of things we aren’t doing and places we aren’t at.
It’s easy to stop noticing what’s really going on within you and around you and end up living in your head, caught up in your thoughts without being aware how those thoughts are controlling what you feel and do.
If you can be present in the moment sitting in a quiet room then why not when you’re eating a meal or drinking a cup of tea, travelling to work, being at work, working on the computer or in your relationships with family, friends and colleagues?
Present techniques for keeping us in the now, particularly Buddhism and meditation have always been there but much is crystallized nowadays under the heading of ‘Mindfulness’. Mindfulness has many qualities – awareness, acknowledgement and acceptance amongst others.
Start small. Commit to being mindful every time you open a door. When you open a door, drop what’s in your mind – you can pick it up later – and instead watch your hand grasp the door handle. Open the door with purpose and patience. Feel its weight. Take in the scene on the other side. Notice a change in temperature and smell; listen also to the sounds around you … It’s a small commitment, maybe half a dozen times a day – but it is a start … Just be present.
Sue Washington has dedicated her life to helping people. From early days as a school teacher she trained psychotherapists to an exacting National standard. Her thrust in her later years has been to help people realise their power. You can ask her a question directly at www.suewashington.com