Looking back at the years you’ve lived so far, what stands out to you? Many will name the “big” events of their life: weddings, births, graduations, and other milestones. But these big moments are generally few and far between (that’s what makes them “big”). But can we imbue importance to those smaller moments too, and make their significance part of our lives?
Try taking a “mindless” activity and making it meaningful. Try this with a few activities you regularly do and don’t tend to think about: brushing your teeth, taking a shower, pumping gas, etc. These are brief activities that, if you are anything like me, you may tend to fill with other thoughts. Thoughts about what you are going to do next, what you need to do later, what you’re going to eat for dinner...these thoughts crowd out your thoughts and ability to be present in the moment. And yet, these scattered thoughts don’t tend to accomplish anything. Just taking a few of these activities and practicing being present can change your day.
So next time you are brushing your teeth--take a breath (just don’t inhale toothpaste!). Look around you. Take stock of what is around you, and how your body feels in its environment. How do your feet feel, touching the floor? Are they bare, or in shoes? Wiggle your toes, feel how the floor (or your shoe) feels, pressed against them. Try to breathe deeply all the way from your top to your bottom, and feel the breath filling each toe, one by one. And that’s it! You’re done! See if you can incorporate a few moments of this kind of mindfulness into some routine activities each day.