In today’s rushed lives we tend to miss all of the important things, we eat fast in the car or at our desks, at night we eat in front of the TV or with a crowd, we talk on the phone while we clean, work, or do other things on the computer, we even read or listen to audio books while we work out. The lifestyle of having to multitask is causing us to lose a lot of what matters in life, many of us even say our prayers by rote.
I have mentioned mindfulness in passing, but it is so very important, in every aspect of our lives, I think it deserves more time. Mindfulness is simply the act of concentrating your mind on one thing at a time, getting true focus and true vision, as well as pure enjoyment of every moment.
Tonight, while you eat supper, turn your phone off. In fact, the whole family should turn their phones off. Turn the TV off. Soft relaxing music can actually aid digestion, nothing too loud or distracting, my kids and I like jazz and classical. Eat slowly, concentrate on the flavor and texture of your food, think about how this food will nourish your body, enjoy this time with your family. If you live alone, still turn off the television, and the computer, and your phone. You can still enjoy every bite of your food. Eating slowly can also lead to eating less, as you will notice you are full sooner. If you don’t need or want to lose weight you can eat an additional light meal during the day.
When you pray, really think about what you are praying for. Are you praying mostly for yourself? Ask God how you can serve him. Pray for the people in that house fire on the news, or the accident you saw on your way to work. Pray that someone discovers a cure for cancer, or the common cold. Imagine that God is granting everything you pray for right now, and think about what a difference that could make in the world. Also, remember that tomorrow you could wake up with only the things you thanked God for today.
When you are exercising really concentrate on how your body moves, how it feels to work up a sweat, how the movement is making your muscles and your bones stronger and better. Fully enjoy the strength of your body.
When you are playing with a child, really play with that child. Sit on the floor and look at their toys. Help a small child to pull books off the bottom shelves and stack them into piles, you can teach numerous things this way including letters, colors, comparisons, and balance. Give the child a pot and wooden spoon, grab one yourself and make music together, you can sing as well, kids do not care if you don’t have a great singing voice, they care that they are having fun.
When you take your dog for a walk, really pay attention to your dog, he loves you more than you can imagine, he deserves some time. Watch for what excites him, pay attention when he starts to get tired and head for home.
When you are with a friend I can think of no greater compliment than to turn your ringer off on your phone, give your friend your full attention, and look them in the eyes. Pay attention to how your friend is doing, you may be the only who notices that she has dark circles under her eyes because she has not been sleeping well because her husband’s company is downsizing and there is no job security anymore, or whatever.
There are beautiful and amazing things going on around you all day every day. When someone has flowers at work, ask what they are for, congratulate or give good wishes. Really look at the flowers too, inhale their aroma, unless of course you’re allergic! Notice when someone dyes their hair or loses weight, compliment them. In all your activities pay attention, be mindful. Think about your words and actions and enjoy each moment to its fullest. I am almost positive you will have no regrets, you will not get older and say “How I wish I had eaten every meal while driving in traffic and talking on the phone from the drive-thru between work and here.” You also will never say “I wish I had paid more attention to the football game then taking the kids outside to build a snow fort.” You are making memories every day, make them good ones.
About the author: MamaSteph has 2 kids by birth and several by love, she is a nurse and enjoys finding healthier ways to make comfort foods, gardening, enjoying nature, and living life to the fullest…For a list of her blogs please click here.