15 Nov Everyday Mindfulness
I began practicing mindfulness several years ago, at which time, I lived my life from one experience to the next. I would work, while looking forward to the end of the day, the weekend, or an upcoming vacation. I chose a career that I thoroughly enjoyed, but yet I still had the mindset of looking towards something in the future. It was at this time that I read ‘Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life’ by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung, which used the example of washing the dishes and how we perform the task mindlessly while looking forward to finishing so that we can relax, rather than focusing on washing the dishes. I thought, “why would anyone want to focus on washing the dishes? ” Well, since then, I have learned that it is first of all, an opportunity to practice mindfulness by staying present to the task at hand without judgment. The dishes were only unpleasant because I had judged them so. Since then, I don’t love washing the dishes, but I don’t dislike it either. I just wash the dishes and notice what I can about it while redirecting when thoughts outside of washing the dishes enter my mind. I’ve noticed more recently, that I am able to stay in the moment at work and not think about the end of the day or week. This, not only makes my work more enjoyable, but also better at it because I am more present.
“If you can stop and establish yourself in the here and the now, you will see that there are many elements of happiness available in this moment, more than enough for you to be happy.”
~Thich Nhat Nanh