I remember around the age of 22, before I really knew what mindfulness was and embraced it as a way to live, having a conversation with an older person about how sometimes when I would start to feel stressed or uncomfortable, I would pay attention to my single motions. I told her how this brought me peace and comfort.
I used the example of washing my hands. I talked about how I would pay attention to how I was pumping the soap, and then how I turn on the water, and how I moved my hands when I would scrub them to ensure bubble action. I focused on moving slowly and with intention, and just how amazing it was how much was at work in this tiny, insignificant moment.
I also very clearly remember her response, which was pretty much, “what the hell are you talking about?” She did not understand and at the time, I really could not explain why this brought me any sort of calm or peace. I just knew it did, and I took note of it. I was practicing mindfulness, and didn’t know there was a name for it.
Now, knowing what I know about the practice of mindfulness, I have come to label this practice as mindful motions. Engaging in mindful motions can have a soothing effect on the individual because we bring all our focus to this one tiny moment, here in the present… and you know how much I love the here & now. It’s pretty much my favorite place to be, and should be yours too.
When we are completely focused on how we are moving our feet or pouring our coffee, or how we can drive a car, or run on a treadmill, we have no head room to spare for thinking about the unkind thing someone said to us at work or the high stakes presentation we have to do tomorrow.
In addition, we have a renewed appreciate for the miraculousness that is life and action. As a child, we are blown away when we learn how to pick up a toy or hold a cup. When we learn to walk, holy crap! What an amazing thing it is to walk! As we get older, of course these motions become dull, and more often considered a means to an end, rather than fantastical gifts from the universe!
Utilizing this practice brings all focus to the moment, and embraces the complexity and under acknowledged awesomeness, of abilities we often take for granted. For example, I use the tiny and powerful muscles in my hands and fingers to pick up this cup of coffee. I then use my amazing super power senses to feel the warm cup and smell the incredible aroma that we all know and love as the second best smell on earth (the first is rain, or maybe babies). I then bring the cup slowly to my lips to take that first morning sip… heaven.
In that moment, because I focused on how incredibly fortunate I am to be alive, to be able to feel warmth, to appreciate tastes and aromas, I find an incredible amount of gratitude and joy in a seemingly insignificant moment. I was mindful in the moment, and in my motions.
Too often we go through the day, hundreds of moments and motions, in a mindless state. We miss incredible moments and feel a lack of joy because everything just seems to dim and dull. It takes a state of mindfulness to bring the attention back to the details that make the picture so perfect.
I challenge you to make Mindful Motions a part of your daily life and see if you notice a difference. Focus on the way you walk to your car, the way you type, the way you dial a phone, the way you sit, the way you lie… notice things, and being yourself to a peaceful place in this moment.
Thank you for taking the time to seek, and I encourage you to continue on your zenful urbanite journey by reading more articles about how you can wake up (raise your consciousness) and do good things on purpose (with intention).