The simple things matter and how we do them too. Paying attention throughout the day builds continuity and we feel happier, healthier and more resilient. That’s mindful.
Life passes quickly.
Daily life is a mosaic. Pieces need to fit together and some days are just a blur. And we are dragged along by “getting things done.” If we remember anything at the end, it’s just the strong stuff, good or bad
- the lingering tension of rushing around
- the pulsating excitement of something special
- the fatigue of letting off steam with a jog or the gym at night in bed
Paying attention matters.
You know as well as me: between all the momentous occasions or just trying to gut it out, basic, garden variety, everyday life is happening. And whether we like it or not, it’s doing something to us. When we pay attention we can influence the quality of our experience and therefore know more about where we’re going.
Not paying attention happens.
Sometimes we take our eye off the ball. It’s called life. But being distracted all the time is a recipe for disaster. Did I mention that paying attention matters? It’s not rocket science, but it’s powerful. It’s also a little counterintuitive. But paying attention will help you
- listen to yourself and others better
- understand what influences you better
- map out clearer or more appropriate goals and objectives
- and be more communicative when needed
These are the 7 areas I use all the time to pay attention and be mindful.
Explore these areas and activities because they will definitely help you build up
- a sense of continuity in my day
- mindful presence throughout life
Be creative and experiment.
Invent your own ways to explore these areas. You’ll question, but it will help. You’ll find some things are harder than others. There are more systematic and concentrated ways to dig deeper into all of the things too. More formal and informal ways to practice paying attention and being mindful.
I’m happy to share them with you when you want. In the meantime….
The 7 things I build continuity in daily life.
1. The wake-up compass
- pay attention when first waking up, recognize “I’m awake”
- use feeling the body to orient
- sit up “intentionally”
- notice being “grounded” when your feet are on the floor
2. Morning movement and meditation
- self massage (pat the whole body or areas that require attention)
- stretching, yoga or invent simple fluid movement to loosen up
- body scan
- breath meditation
- drink water
- try intermittant fasting
- cosume the right foods, the right portions, at the right times
- notice the smells, sights and sounds
- pay attention when you handle, chew, swallow food
- observe the pleasure in it all
- formal and informal
- fast and slow
- coming and going from one place to another, indoor or outdoor
- contact with the ground when standing
- slow down
- getting in, out, staying the car
- cutting in and out of traffic, passing
- suspend judgment, good will,
- graceful and generous
6. PC breaks
- keep the body loose
- look away from the screen when you can
- stand up, stretch
7. Training the “thoughts” gatekeeper
- watch out for judgmental thinking
- avoid gossip
- what’s good in your day, your life
There are many variations on the things I’ve listed here.
Bonus material: try mixing and matching activities during the day.
Almost all of what I’m pointing to is based on noticing your body and how you feel sitting, standing, walking and lying down, while you’re driving or eating or talking or just being.
For example, try walking “meditation”
- going to and from appointments
- from one place to another inside and outside the home, office or the car
Slow down just enough to pay attention, experiment with pace and speed and work with the conditions you have.
Create a sense of continuity and presence simply by paying attention to whatever you are doing. Your
even if only at the beginning of the day or of an activity. Try and create new and creative ways to pay attention to whatever you’re doing and how it feels in your body and mind and heart.
You’ll be a better person for it.
What about you? Do you have your own strategy, habits or routines that help you stay balanced throughout the day? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section. Shoot me an email if you’d like to know more. Did you get my free gift (anche in Italiano)?