Enjoy the little things. One day you will look back and realise they were the big things.
Posted on 06 May 2015
I won't pretend to be an expert, but mindfulness changed my outlook on everything. To me, the practice means living in the present, without thinking of the past or future, without letting thoughts cloud your mind. It means focussing on what you are doing right now and noticing what is happening to you right now.
Start with drinking an ice cold glass of water, and noticing the sharp cold contrasting on on your warm tongue, the wet on your lips, the hard and smooth container held in your hands. Take the time throughout your day to stop and notice the present and it will soon begin to come naturally.
Next time you're at work and find your mind wandering gently allow yourself to come back into the present, to feel the soft seat beneath you, the tightness of your shoes, the sound of your fingers tapping on your computer keyboard.
When someone is speaking to you notice the way their lips move, the highs and lows in their voice, the way their eyes flick from side to side. Give them your full attention and you will find yourself becoming more aware of other people's thoughts.
Slow down when you eat. Taste each mouthful and the difference between each one. How long it takes to chew, how it smells, and the texture varying as you move around your plate.
Breathe deeply, count to 10 and notice how your lungs expand and push down your stomach. How the air passes through your nostrils in a cold burst and hits the back of your throat.
I find walking to and from work a good time to practice. To notice the sun coming through the clouds, the trees swaying in the wind, the sound of the cars in the distance. The crisp frost on the ground crunching as my feet take each step.
I found myself notice when the leaves changed from green to yellow, orange, red, and brown and realised I hadn't seem this since I was a child. I found myself noticing spiderweb shapes in the trees, or weaving the branches into patterns in my mind. I walked with the sun blazing in my eyes and squinted at the brightness and felt the heat, then as the nights became darker stared at the witching clouds and the never quiet London sounds engulfing my ears.
As my self taught practice went on I started coming home thinking about the colours in the flowers and telling my partner about the shapes I found in the clouds.
I used to come home and tell him what a stressful day I'd had at work. It had slowly changed my life.