Mini-Mindfulness Moments

I wake up in the morning to the sound of birds chirping delightfully outside my window. I quietly make my way in the early morning hour to my yoga room where the gentle flow of the table top water fall cascades rhythmically inviting me to my morning meditation. I inhale deeply letting the stream of thoughts flowing in my mind pass gracefully in and out of consciousness and I exhale any tension or tightness my body may be holding as I sit in my deep meditation for a delicious forty minutes.

BEEP BEEP BEEP! The sound of my alarm wakes me from my dream. I roll out of bed, grab my robe, fumble to let the dogs out, stubbing my toe along the way. Following a few expletives, I scoop the dog food into the metal bowls, toss them to the floor and make my way to the hot, steaming shower that must quickly wash away the foggy brain of sleep still lingering. I jump into my clothes, paint on some assemblence of a face, and pull up my hair. I grab a glass of juice and a packet of instant oatmeal and yogurt which will serve as my breakfast and lunch when I make it to the office. I secure the dogs, and (as I exit my house) I take a deep breath (holding it for the required four seconds), offer a blessing for the day on the exhale, and haul it to my Jeep because I am now five minutes late for work!

Research continues to remind us of the role of mindfulness in our experience of overall wellness. Yet, a culture of “busy” permeates, sabotaging earnest attempts at a peace-filled, mindful lifestyle. Jon Kabat-Zinn in his groundbreaking book Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, writes “…there is something about the cultivation of mindfulness that is healing, that is transformative, and that can serve to give our lives back to us…”. A practice of mindfulness extends beyond the individual practitioner and benefits those who surround her or him. Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and author of many books including Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children, off