Sometimes when I look around, I notice everyone around me rushing somewhere, trying to get to the next thing on their list as soon as possible. The ever present need to do more and do it quicker than the next person. We often get so caught up in life that we feel like we are on a hamster wheel. Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt that you are going through your daily life, rushing through it instead of stopping for a moment and fully experiencing it? You go to work every morning yet when you get to your workplace you don’t remember exactly how you got there. You know that you ride in on the train but can't recall the experience. You inhale your lunch, while thinking of a million other things and five minutes later don’t remember what it tasted like. You sit in church, trying to listen to the sermon but you find your mind wandering to your next "to do" item.
How did this happen? How did we get here? How did we let the hustle and bustle of life turn us into robots? We go through the motions, we fly through our daily routines, and the only thing we feel is a constant stress.
I just described the life of most people I know. And myself… definitely myself. I wonder if any of this describes you.
I had an awakening recently when I attended a mindfulness seminar. I realized that I am missing so many of life’s pleasures because I am so task oriented instead of being living oriented. Think of a young child doing something as simple as walking to a store with his mom. The adult usually rushes and just wants to get to the store. Look at the child! He is exploring. He notices the sunshine on his face; the shadows on the ground from the trees above. He says "hi" to the beetle that crosses his path and the bird that flies over him. He notices the journey. He notices the details. And we should all learn from this child.
As an example, I just went on a once in a lifetime vacation and I was going through the motions so much so that most of the trip is now a blur. Very few snapshots are engrained in my mind because for the whole trip I was focused more on what was to come rather than living in the moment and appreciating every minute.
How can you make a difference in your life and in your community if you aren’t identifying the blessings around you? How can you share His word and live a meaningful life if you only pay attention to your destination and never the journey?
I made a decision recently to live a more mindful life. Mindful of my surroundings; mindful of my life; mindful of my blessings. Because I want to LIVE life and not walk through it like a robot without a feeling. I invite you to take this challenge with me and try to be more mindful in your life.
What can we do differently? These are my guidelines for myself on how to achieve more balance and mindfulness in life.
- I will pay attention to my surroundings wherever I am. I’ll be able to appreciate all the blessings He has given us like the air we breathe, the trees, the nature. And I’ll be able to notice anyone in need that God wants me to help.
- I will take the time to actually enjoy what I eat and drink, instead of just inhaling it. Food is nourishment for body and soul and I will be mindful of that.
- I will pay attention to my breathing. Calm myself on a daily basis to bring myself down to a tempo where I can appreciate life.
Being mindful is a conscious decision one must make and it takes work. I have reminders all over my office reminding me to stop and take the time to live in the moment. It’s so easy to slip back into the old habits and focus on the “rat race”. Our society makes it practically impossible to live otherwise. But I believe in myself and believe in you – we can do it!
To keep motivated and for more encouragement I invite you to visit my website www.thewordchanges.com or you can follow me on Facebook www.facebook.com/thewordchanges or Instagram and Twitter @thewordchanges.
- a the word changes contributor