I got up from the computer and wandered outside. I was immediately aware of the soft caress of breeze and birdsong. The swish of stems and leaves sang with them and I inhaled the scent of fresh mown grass with every breath.
I just stood and absorbed it for a while. A much better break than going on Facebook! And part of the practice of being mindful which I’ve been trying to invest in after reading about it recently.
My first thoughts about mindfulness were; we certainly have to be mindful as parents. Mindful of what we’re doing, how we behave towards our kids, what messages we might be giving them through our attitudes and responses to life and to them, what kind of people we might be steering them towards being – by how we’re being!
But then I thought; maybe that’s also a reason to be mindful for ourselves. For our own restorative well being, so we can be supportive and calm people as well as parents!
Practising mindfulness is just practising consciousness, in ourselves, of ourselves, so that we keep ourselves centred and strong and not knocked about by outer things – like Facebook!
Usually once during the day I go out and walk. This is to stretch my limbs as much as the dog’s. But I’ve noticed, since reading about mindfulness, how although my body’s taking a break my mind isn’t.
I’m charging along, usually churning over some concern and missing the time to give my mind a rest. What I thought was an opportunity for mindfulness had become as stressful as sitting at the computer. Body was out there – brain was still at work.
How often have you done that?
I’m going to try and change that as I practice mindfulness more consciously for if it isn’t conscious – then it’s not mindfulness. And stop filling moments that could be song filled and soft with raging, tossing warfare between issues all vying for attention. Issues need attention, but to be resolved wisely, we need to put them aside sometimes too.
Instead, I’ll allow concerns that inevitably muscle in to flow on through with the breeze, concentrate on what my body and senses are doing and receiving, refreshing my mind. Which is, after all, what I was walking for in the first place.
So many of us walk unconsciously through life, not only missing half of it and then wondering when life went and stress came, but also inadvertently teaching our kids to do the same. And now our kids are becoming so stressed that schools are finding they need to make time for this practice. How bizarre is that!
Surely the practice of mindful, conscious living should come from home?
Better get started! A holiday weekend the perfect time!