Sometimes It’s About the Little Things

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Jon Kabat-Zinn, the father of mindfulness describes it as paying attention in a particular way without judgement.  I think of it as an awareness. Have you ever been so caught up in thought or activity that you didn’t know where the time went?  Do you ever find yourself stuck replaying a conversation or rehearsing something over and over?  Have you munched out on chips, popcorn, candy and before you realized it, the bowl was empty?

These are examples of mindless moments.  They can generate tension, unhappiness and lead to poor health in general.  They can leave you with a sense of purposelessness, feeling like there’s no meaning in your life.  What if you took some time for mindful activity?  What would be possible for you?  Here are some examples of mindful moments:

Washing your hands – at the sink, pause for a moment and listen to the water as it comes out.  Look at the stream of water, is it thin? thick? bubbly? Notice your hands as the water runs over them. What is the feeling on your skin? What is the temperature – don’t judge whether this is unpleasant or pleasant right now, just notice.  Feel the soap on your hands with its texture. Smell it.  Feel the warmth that happens from friction as you scrub. End with noticing the feeling when your rinse off and dry.

Brushing your teeth – As you squeeze out the toothpaste, notice the color, smell and texture as it comes into contact with your brush.  Notice your toothbrush, its color, softness or firmness.  Feel the toothbrush in your mouth and the toothpaste. What areas are sensitive? What is the sensation? Do you notice smoothness, foaminess, tingling? How do your teeth feel as the bristles strike them? When do you need to spit? Notice that sensation of needing to empty your mouth.  Feel the water as you rinse and the feeling when you finish brushing.

Mindfulness doesn’t have to come with sitting on a cushion.  Every activity in your life can be used to be mindful of the moment.  Notice how time changes when you are mindful of an activity.  Notice how your body feels, after taking mindful time.

For more information you can check out Mindful


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