Small ways I practice mindfulness (when I don’t have the time to meditate)
To a lot of people, the thought of meditation, no matter how many times they revisit it can be off putting. There seems to be some association to “perfecting meditation”: the right surrounding, absolute quiet and stillness, the perfect lotus seated posture…etc. For some, the unlikely-hood of the setting alone can put them off meditation. I fell victim to this. I blame the dog licking my toe or my other half in the other room watching a football game getting in my way of finding inner peace. At times it’s my body, I’m too full/hungry to sit in silence. The whole point of mindfulness is to become at peace with all of what’s happening around you and enjoying the stillness. I must admit after getting a new edition to the home, a little pup, and starting a new job, the change in routine has also thrown my meditation practice off. Once I found my new routine, it’s become easier to re-introduce it back. Keyword = ROUTINE. We are creatures of habit, and the best thing is to set a time daily in order for it to stick. On days where I’m not so successful, I tried to find some other ways to keep me present:
While the new pup has been taking time away from my meditation routine, I’ve been finding quiet, stillness and mindfulness through our long walks. I purposely put my phone on silent or leave my phone at home, and slow down for an hour of the day. Taking in the nature and surroundings is an amazing way to connect back with your body and nature.
New job = A new mailbox that’s not a mind field. Admittedly, this doesn’t directly correlate to meditation, but think of your brain as your mailbox, and your thoughts as your emails. Whether they are new emails, spam, shopping orders, wouldn’t it be great if they all had a folder you can organise them in. That way it’s not just mail/thoughts scattered everywhere. Once you addressed a thought/mail, you can file them away and only revisit when needed (in which case it will be very easy to find because of your awesome filing structure). This has brought a lot of structure and productivity to my work, and as a result my thoughts, as my brain is trusting that everything is in order, I don’t feel the need to keep thinking/be reminded of them. As a result, I am now in the process of cleaning my personal inbox (a decade worth of emails) to bring me even more peace.
Being new at work, means I don’t have friends just yet. (How is this good? Wait for it). No friends meaning, I don’t have gossip and haven’t picked up on the politics yet. No instant messaging. No negative chatter. I’m working! While socialising is a big part of a work environment (and I highly encourage it), sometimes you get less work done in an office than you do when you work from home. It makes me question what exactly we are getting paid to do in the office. The point is, being in an environment without distractions (even your team or boss) can bring more mindfulness as you are focused with the one task at hand. This will bring more productivity and efficiency, not just to you, but to your employer!
On being healthy. My old job didn’t have a microwave (something about health and safety… don’t get me started), but my new job does! So I’ve been making an effort to cook my own food. Ever since moving to London, my cooking game has been off, the classic excuse of “no time”. Typically, I would usually stress about having “another” thing to do in the evening , but I’ve been approaching cooking as “the” event of evening. Putting some music on, creating the right atmosphere to create nutritious healthy meals is another way I found to “stay in the moment”
In a nutshell, Mindfulness or being in the present does not have to be a seated lotus posture (despite the picture I used for this post) in a room filled with candles, you can find it in day to day activities, and you can find what works for you. Finding peace in my mailbox is something that works for me, but you may find something completely different and unique that works better for you.