It’s those pauses in between when “life” happens… the pause between this activity and that one. The pause between the inhale and the exhale. The pause between placing one foot down and picking up the other.
Taking the pauses as they come – realizing them for the true gifts that they are. Not rushing to end the pause. It is in these pauses when calmness and clarity come. In a world where “multitasking” is revered, and countless hours are spent doing too many things at once, it is all the more meaningful to take the time to really explore the stillness.
Even the most menial tasks can be enjoyed when you simply think about what you are doing at the present moment. One of my favorite tasks for “living in the moment” is washing the dishes. The simple act of turning on the faucet, wetting my hands and a cloth, preparing the soap. I think about the science of it and I think about the art of it. I think about how I am grateful for indoor plumbing and for even having a pot to wash. With these thoughts in mind, you can wash a dozen dishes and also invite the stillness into your mind. It’s a lovely exercise – try it!
Mindfulness is so simple, yet so few people in our society do it. I am doing some research right now on mindfulness in yoga practice for my final project for Teacher Training. I hope to have more to share soon – my mindfulness project goes beyond the physical practice of yoga, and into every day life yoga – on and off the mat. My research paper is due next month, so you will probably hear more about it
Walking and hiking is definitely one of the most enjoyable activities, and a very good way to introduce a mindfulness practice into your life. I especially like to take the hikes during the little pauses in between seasons – those sort of subtle days when there is a fuzzy line between the two… This weekend provided such an opportunity to explore a new trail in one of our favorite areas. We took the dogs, and we took our time.
Project Spectrum has been a practice of mindfulness from the very beginning – just noticing the things around you. Even if you feel that you don’t have the time to actually “craft” something in the specific colors this time around, you can still participate in the way of thinking about it. Thinking about the ripples on the water, thinking about the blue of the sky, thinking about the shifting seasons… and finally, taking the pause and just relishing in it.