Life can be stressful and hectic and we easily lose track of time and what does us good! Add to that the pressure of “you should” – exercise, meditate, be mindful, relax, sleep, read, educate further – “at least every day for an x-amount” of time to succeed.
Don`t we all already have enough pressure and “to-do`s” in the day to day life? Why not simply embrace that we do something regularly but no matter for how long?
I often speak to others about relaxation, meditation, mindfulness or to simply be. But a lot are put off by the minimum time they “have to” dedicate every day to make it beneficial. I include myself here. I simply can`t dedicate 30-45 min daily. Already thinking that I “have to” makes me edgy – already working against the whole purpose of doing it. So in the past it ended for me in barely doing anything. Yet knowing that it does me good and I should do something. Leaving me frustrated. And so the dilemma begins. Can you resonate?
So instead of a time pressure I change my mindset and decided that: Doing something is better than nothing.
Until today I barely manage the 30-45 min recommendations but I benefit throughout the day from several “glimpses of mindfulness” as I call them. Just to simply become more aware in normal day-to-day situations and to take a moment to simply be, to notice small things like:
- listening to the raindrops falling on the umbrella
- watching the clouds go by and “name” their shapes
- the smell and feeling of soap on my hands
- be fully present when brushing my teeth
- the way the water feels when having a shower
- feeling my feet strong, firm and grounded on the floor
- feeling the movement of my feet when I walk (and how it changes on different grounds, in different shoes)
- simply gazing away into the nothing-ness
- noticing the trees, the shape and colour of the leaves or the flowers when I walk
- being really there while preparing a meal, while I cut the vegetables, stir the pot,
- closing the eyes and really focusing on the sip of the coffee, tea, wine or water
- experiencing the feeling, sensation and taste of the chocolate piece melting in my mouth
- feeling the ice-cold drink and its condensation on the outside of the glass on a hot summers day
- closing the eyes and feel the body sensation while going through the sun salutation sequence
- or if I can do it I will spend 5, 10, 15 minutes to really meditate!
- the list of small glimpses could go on…
It is not always easy, especially when one is out and about and busy. But I have a little rattle, a kind of bell in my bag and often when I walk I hear the little sound and it reminds me to slow down, to breathe, to be aware even if just for a short moment – for a little “glimpse”.
And it calms me down, no matter how hectic it is around me. A moment of full awareness, giving me some great benefit without the time comittment, yet putting me at ease.
Of course a dedicated meditation or mindfulness practice is fantastic and super beneficial, there is no doubt about that. But striving for it during times when we may not be able to dedicate the recommended timeframe to it is wrong, too, I think.
To me, relaxation, meditation, mindfulness or how ever you may want to call it is not only about a certain time frame! It is not only about sitting upright, being still or lying down in a quite room. I won`t argue, that is often the ideal situation. But our situation is often not that ideal. And for me it is therefore so much more important to adapt and to become aware within my day to day life.
To be able to halt, stop, breathe, and to really be present in that moment, in the strangest situation and location!
So stop looking for the perfect situation. Do not let the lack of a perfect scenario take away from the beneficial experience of becoming fully aware and “mindful” through your normal day. Rather learn to create your daily “glimpses of mindfulness”! No matter where or for how long!
Try it and you will hopefully see how even the smallest moments can put you at ease.
Have a lovely day,