Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.
Imagine yourself standing in front of the Grand Canyon. Amazing view. You take your time to observe it and make the most out of this moment. Nice!
Now, do you think that we need to wait for this special moment to happen, to wait for this trip to Grand Canyon, to constantly wait for something to appreciate? Exactly, I think the same. Everyday life is full of such magic moments. It is just we tend to loose the majority of them.
According to Harvard University researchers, people spend almost half of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and their wandering minds lead to unhappiness.
I will tell you something that happened to me last week which gave me the content for this post. Last week I was back to Vilnius, my home town, visiting my family. Every morning I would wake up and make these magic walks with my lovely dog in the nearby forest. Imagine my surprise by the end of our 2 hours walk – ¨I missed almost half of the journey through this forest¨. At some point I was coming back from my eternal thoughts, realizing that I am in another point of the forest, without even noticing how did I get there! I missed my dog’s funny invite to play with her, I missed amazing views, which can be compared to Grand Canyon. I was there, but it seems that I was not! I was not present.
How many times we are there, but we are not! How many times we pretend to listen, but thinking about something else? How many times we miss smiles of our beloved ones? We miss magic moments. Constantly.
I realized how difficult is to be ¨in the moment¨! I would be lying to you if I tell that all the following days I was 100% at the moment. It takes time to practice and “educate” our mind to be present. Every time that my mind was “going away” and thinking about what will be my next post about, I started reminding myself that “I am here”. This helped me to enjoy precious time with my family. And to be in a moment.
Realizing this first, helped me to think about some practical exercises that I want to offer you today.
1. Mindful observation.
This exercise consist of choosing any object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be any object or person, flower or even the clouds. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Visually explore every aspect that you see.
2. Mindful listening.
Consider choosing any track without knowing the artist. Something that you have never heard before. The whole exercise consist of letting go all the judgement about the name and label of the artist. The idea is just to listen. Allow yourself to explore every aspect of track.
These are the starting points.
Yoga, mindful breathing and gratitude – are another important pieces that will help us to develop our presence and ability to be in the moment.
Just think for a second – mindful observation. Starting with an object, you will transform this to people. To your emotions. You will be able to identify the moments when you are not present. The same goes for mindful listening. Starting with music, we continue with people – how do we listen? Do we listen at all what others try to share with us? Next time when we are about to use our mobile while having a dinner with friends, must probably we will notice that we are about to disconnect from the present. The only thing that we have.
Now that we know – half of our life we are day dreaming, first step is to pay attention every time that this is happening. And practice, discovering new colors of our daily life, our interactions with people and ourselves.
Allowing ourselves to be consumed by the magic moments is the starting point towards happiness and fulfilled life.
And what about you?
How often do you realize that your mind is somewhere else?
I would love to hear about your experience and things that worked for you.