Updated: Mar 18, 2019
A man stops to smell the roses, and the fragrance reminds him of the last time he gave flowers—to his ex—which leads him to remember other gone-wrong relationships; which eventually leads him to thoughts of his Mother.
By this time, he is back at work with absolutely no memory of that twenty-five-minute walk through busy downtown.
Many of us find ourselves missing the turn, missing the question and missing yet another part of our lives. We spend more time than we might like lost in the past, often running scenarios to make right what can only stay wrong and gone.
Instead, Mindfulness is the practice of taking a front-row seat to our lives. The problem, of course, is that our minds quickly tend to skip away.
Here are two changes that can make it easier to be mindful more often and longer.
Decades ago, I read a book Be Here Now by Ram Das. I was intrigued with the idea of being present, and started, right then.
A few hours later, I realized I had forgotten and tuned back in. The next day, I only remembered once, and then three days later one more time—before quitting.
I quit because I did not like how it felt: boredom and other negative feelings, like irritability, anxiety, guilt and sadness.
Much later, I gave myself permission to feel UNcomfortable, to even feel, and stay with, those negative emotions, including boredom.
And, over time, I learned that it really was okay to be in pain and present.
C h A n g e i t u P
Routine: a sequence of actions regularly followed.
It is time for bed, and our routine kicks in: teeth brushing, straighten the bedding, water by the bed, clothes off, etc.
We have done it so many times, we could do it in our sleep. And we do. Our minds wander off into the past, or future; anywhere but here and now (because it is so boring?).
Some of us have lives filled with routines: getting ready for work; driving to work; throughout the day at work. We wash the car, sweep the kitchen floor and mow the lawn in exactly the same way. Every time.
And every time, our minds have a strong tendency to drift off.
In one man’s words: "After work tonight, I will talk with the same guys about the same things. When I get home, I will kiss my wife on the same cheek, feed/pet the dog in the same way and wash up for dinner. At that point, my evening will be off to the 'same old' that will eventually get me to the same tomorrow."
Ah, but changing our routines helps keep us awake; changes bring us back to Mindfulness more often and help us stay there longer.
AND continually making changes has the added benefit of increasing spontaneity.
Our routines tend to give us a feeling of structure and continuity. Wrapped in the thick, cotton ticking of their (suffocating?) embrace, we can feel protected, safe. Which is why big, sweeping changes can push us right back to where we started.
Instead, consider taking baby steps, by changing just one (or two) routine.
For example, sweep the kitchen floor from the opposite direction, and next time do it from the sides into the center; or, take a different route (or part of a route) to work each day, for as many days as you can, and then start the series again but with #3.
After changing one routine becomes a habit (three weeks ? ) then begin changing another.
That man above, the one who described his routine evening? In
his words, “After taking a different way home tonight, maybe I could accidently miss my wife’s cheek. And land on her lips."
UN - Happiness ?
Your quality of life (level of happiness) depends on the strength of your inner-struggle: up too late (with tv /soc. media /novel)? Delay feeding yourself? A struggle with every positive change?
Calm your inner-struggle and life is easier. Free.
Calm the struggle and positive change becomes easier. Included.
And as your inner-struggle weakens, your inner-strength grows. Also included.
The Power of Becoming Your Own Best Friend
Now available and (temporarily) free
(nothing held back)
How to Be Mindful ALL the Time? https://zenhabits.net/always/
Benefits of a Mindful practice: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/mindfulness/how-does-mindfulness-work
How does Mindfulness work?
How to practice Mindfulness:
The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: