Mindfulness Activity #4
A mindful life is at least two things. First, it is balanced. There is a natural balance in nature between growth and rest, light and dark, etc..
The second characteristic of a mindful life is that it is intentional. What that means is that we strive to practice so that our life may be connected, alive, and balanced.
Recent times have upended our routines. It is hard to tell weekdays from weekends. Our daily obligations and opportunities have changed. So today’s practice, if you choose to practice, is designed to restore balance and to make us more aware of the rhythm of our days. If practiced, this can make us able to intentionally create balance in our days between work and rest, active and still, quiet and connected to others (virtually if necessary).
So in order to do today’s practice, to start…you need not do anything other than to pay attention. Whatever activities you choose to do (work, leisure, cleaning a room) do them mindfully. We talk about this as “fully participating.” Choose your activities and then dive in.
The second part of today’s practice is designed to highlight the difference between active and resting. At some point in the afternoon, find 30-60 minutes to find a spot to get comfortable, set a timer or ask someone to wake you if you are with others, and take a nap. It does not matter if you actually sleep if you make your body comfortable, close your eyes, and relax your body and mind. You may say this is so hard, my mind never stops. If you experience worries, urges to get up, thoughts that the practice is useless, or that it is a waste of time…this is all part of the practice. Take a deep breath and say, I will do it anyway. Continue breathing, relaxing, and refocusing in breath in the face of distractions as many times as needed for the time you said you would nap.
Then notice your activities when you dive back in.