A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my insane love for Sunday’s. I wrote about how I adore having a day to ‘date’ myself, make delicious food, relax with a good book, go to a yoga class and buy myself lunch. I came to the realisation today that in that post I touched on something that’s become increasingly important to me and has started to play a big role in my life. That ‘something’ is mindfulness.
I used to think mindfulness was an instense practice. I thought one had to reserve an hour every day to sit in solitary confinement in a straighjacket with a mindfulness podcast and focus on nothing but the incessant sound of one’s breath. So, when I first started doing it I was incredibly disciplined, adhering to every instruction and stringently paying attention to my breath. I’d sit on the tube every night on my way home from work and put on my weekly mindfulness podcast from UCLA and ignore the lady sitting next to me flicking through Facebook and sit down like a weird ass Samurai apprentice.
But over the last few months I’ve noticed something peculiar happen; I don’t feel the need to set aside time for a rigid practice each day, instead I am able to be mindful in my every day life even when I am busy or in the middle of doing something. Mindfulness to me has come to be defined as being alert and attentive in the present moment. It doesn’t mean forcing anything and it doesn’t mean narrowing my minds eye to focus on just one thing. I can now be mindful when I am cooking, taking time to notice the smells and the sounds, not judging anything but just observing. I can be mindful when I am on the bus, at work, having a conversation with someone, taking a shit.
Now that I can be mindful anywhere and while doing anything I feel so much more relaxed going throughout my day. When things get stressful I have a powerful tool in my arsenal to stay calm, when my life is filled with happiness and excitement I’m able to fully engage and soak up every second and just generally I feel positive and my anxiety feels soothed. Mindfulness has given me the ability to fully and wholeheartedly enjoy my sundays, and I feel so grateful for that.