Have you ever noticed that the only time many of us stop to think about where we are is when we are lost. We’re in a new mall (so I like to shop) or an airport and we search out the signs to point us where we want to go. I believe that our lives are often like that. We have our goals set towards the future and in the meantime we often overlook what is around us.
Mindfulness and self care have been two very popular trainings for helping professionals over the last decade. I’ve attended many trainings on each and provided trainings on self care to several different audiences. I certainly attempt to practice many aspects of each and I see and hear colleagues teaching and training on the same subjects. However, I don’t think many of us truly acknowledge that it is difficult at times.
I’ve written about my mind constantly being full of an ongoing to do list. Although I do allow myself down time, during this time I am always aware of what I will need to do next. By nature I am a list maker and organizer, completing tasks is a huge sense of accomplishment. I practice self care in regards to personal journal writing, exercise, eating healthy, time with friends and James. However, rarely do I simply sit with myself.
Mindfulness is about being aware of where you are right now, at this moment.
Do a scan of your body. Are you hot or cold? Is your chair comfortable? Are your clothes too tight? Does something hurt? How does the computer (or phone or whatever you are reading this on) feel to your touch? Do you smell something nice? You may find that you have been missing something.
Most of the time our body and mind will let us know what we need – if only we allow ourselves time to listen. I feel that most people stay uber busy often as a means of coping and not dealing with what is currently going on in their life. I read posts by other bloggers and hear people talking about their hectic schedules and I wonder when they have time to rest. Let’s be honest, I’m one of those people. I allow myself little time to be by myself.
Back to the analogy of the “you are here’ map. Is “here” a bad place to be? Keep in mind that if we don’t get a good idea of the landscape of where we are right now, how can we go toward where we want to go? After reading this, I encourage you to take a deep breath, perhaps close your eyes and simply feel right now. Don’t allow your mind to think about the grocery list or the next appointment.
For a few minutes, just be where you are. You might find that you like it!