Mindfulness is Everything
I love my morning walks.
We've had a pretty wintery April this year. In fact the last 3 days have been particularly snowy. I have to admit I love snow, no matter when it comes. This photo is a spot along my usual path.
I love walking alone because it gives me an opportunity to practice being here. Much is being made these days of mindfulness - the practice of being in the present moment in a non-judgmental way. So much so that I'm worried it's becoming just another buzzword to be dismissed as a fad.
I take mindfulness pretty seriously, however. My personality type is particularly adept at escaping the present moment, a fact I experience every day. My natural tendency is to daydream and/or analyze, so coming to my senses and leaving judgments behind is something I have to work at.
That's why I love my walk. It gives me 30 or so minutes to practice.
It's not as easy as it sounds, paying attention to the world around me. It's especially hard when I'm stressed, or worried about something (which for many of us is pretty much all the time). That's because when I'm stressed or worried, I only want to focus on what I'm stressed or worried about. I want to SOLVE THE PROBLEM, whatever it is. My mind says, "why waste time focusing on the @#$%-ing blue sky when there are SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!!!"
To pull my mind away from the "important" things I'm thinking about in order to focus on the world around me is an act of faith. It means I have to trust something other than my logical, rational mind for a few minutes. It means I have to break my addiction to thinking, and open my senses to other kinds of input.
It means I might have to trust the possibility that everything I need in every situation just might be available to me, not when I get it all figured out, not in some understood past or perfectly planned future, but just maybe, right here, right now.
If I can learn how to pay attention.
So I practice.