We go through life with no time, moving from one thing to another with no time to stop and smell the flowers. Sure, we can take breaks but our minds do not: they are constantly planning what’s next, or worrying about yesterday.
In this blog and in real life, I am constantly defending movement and the search for novelty. Been constantly in the look for new and interesting things (beautiful things) to make one’s own. Cherishing the past and imagining the future are some of the activities in which I find more joy. However, I realise that without the ability to live the present, neither the plans or the memories make any sense. What good is there in remembering with a smile a road trip across the Basque Country if you were then thinking about what was going to happen next?
Live the moment.
But no, this blog post is not about reminding everyone to enjoy the great moments of life. Rather, it is an invitation to enjoy the small, insignificant parts of your day: let your senses feast in even the simplest activities. It will not only make life more interesting, it will also bring happiness.
Here is a brief mindfulness meditation exercise from the book Living in the Moment by Anna Black:
When you shower in the morning, take a moment or two to notice who has “joined” you… Who are you thinking about- perhaps it is your boss, or colleagues at work, maybe it is someone you are going to see later that day, or perhaps it is someone you talked to yesterday. It might be your partner, your children, your parents, your next- door neighbour… How many people are in the shower with you?
Then, begin focusing on the physical sensations of showering… the water running off your skin… the temperature of the water… the soap lathering up between your fingers. Notice when you experience a sensation of delight or when there might be a feeling of pushing away or dislike. There is no right way to shower and whether we are invigorating ourselves first thing in the morning, simply shampooing our hair, or cooling off after a hot day, all we are doing is paying attention to the act of taking a shower.
Remove the auto- pilot.