Mindfulness. Heard of it? Practice it?
As I opened the pantry door an olive oil bottle ‘jumped’ off the shelf. On it’s rapid journey south, toward the cream tiled floor, I attempted to catch the bottle with my knee. My attempt failed miserably and the olive oil bottle shattered on the floor, spilling it’s contents everywhere!
Staring hard in disbelief, I let a minute pass. Then I observed.
The viscous pool of yellow-green liquid made an interesting shape on the floor. The splinters of glass had managed to spread themselves far and wide across the kitchen floor. Wow, look at how the glass broke into so many pieces. I smiled, as I do when I realise I am ‘in the moment’ and thought about how I could clean up the mess.
Grabbing some paper towel I placed it on the oil puddle before me and continued to observe the interesting pattern rising up the paper towel as it absorbed the oil.
This is my take of being in the moment and what I think is the practice of mindfulness. It makes doing an unpleasant task much more bearable.
Fast forward just one day and I managed to break 3 bottles of wine, 2 bottles of sparkling white and 1 bottle of red. Oh my goodness to the mess that made. Of course, I was rushing and had to be out the door minutes later, to take my daughter to dance class. I did make time to observe the liquid that was quickly spreading across the same cream coloured tiles as the olive oil had the day before.
It was a sensory experience of sight, smell and touch as I rushed to get towels to soak up the liquid before it disappeared under cupboard doors.
Mindfulness, to me, is paying attention to the present in a sensory way. Being in the here and now. It’s such a cool place to be. It makes yukky things so much less yukky! It does take practice and once you get there it’s awesome.
I practice mindfulness whenever I’m in a situation I’d prefer not to be; a queue at the supermarket, the bank or the post office. The times I drop something and it breaks or my kids make an accidental mess.
Next time you find yourself saying ‘I hate this’, step outside your head and feel the present. Give it a try, take it all in. It will make you smile and make those challenging times so much easier.