If there is one thing I have learnt about mindfulness, is that it is a consistent daily practice full of challenging moments. When I read back on this sentence, I understand it doesn’t sound super encouraging. We all like to hear that its going to be easy, like a new diet we want to start to kick off our New Year’s resolutions.
The thing is, we have so many years of learned attitudes, old habits and typical modern day human behaviours, it can and will takes years to unlearn them and reset your mind. And the more you go down this path the more you will uncover and the more you will learn. I feel like I have just uncovered the tip of a buried pyramid and I have a whole life time ahead of me to excavate and reveal a beautiful and marvellous creation.
When I first rushed into mindfulness I did so with such wild abandon, I bought every book, I read every blog, I tried to fit 30 different concepts into my day at once, and quickly lost all of my motivation. It was too much, too hard and consumed my thinking and my life. I became more stressed, putting pressure on myself to be mindful at every moment.
I have learnt now that this is a slow and gentle process that cannot be rushed and that even small changes will open you up to magnificent feeling self realisation, calmness, progress and successful change, you will keep moving forward and you will continue on your path to a mindful life.
In a Mindfulness Summit I attended last year run by the Wake Up Project one story that was shared by Richard Fernandez from Wisdom Labs, about a lady he knew who had so little time in her day, the only time she could practice mindfulness was when she went to the bathroom at work. She spent time considering the sound of the water from the tap, the smell of the soup, the feeling of washing her hands.
It is in these small moments that someone found the path to mindfulness and I have been encouraged by this story to start small and instead of adding more to my day, its now about finding ways to integrate mindfulness into my current daily rituals. Sometimes, even one hour of meditation a week at work is too hard to fit in, and it can lead to more stress and a feeling of failure.
Start small-scale, find some pocket-sized mindful ritual you can incorporate seamlessly into your day where you practice mindfulness for five to ten minutes and see where it takes you.
Small mindfulness moments:
- Mindfully washing hands after going to the bathroom
- Washing the dishes by hand without distractions
- 5-10 minute breathing exercise when you wake up in the morning
- 2-5 minute journaling at the end of the day before bed
- 10 minutes of mindful eating in your lunch break