Mindfullness: do I get it? #3
Written by Hillary R. Hoff
Mindfulness can be incorporated with anything we do; when we walk, talk, eat, listen. Mindfulness is a speed, a speed to slow down and watch from the outside in what is truly happening. My Dad would always say to me, “Hillary try to think before you talk” (in a fatherly man voice of course) and I remember thinking, “alright, why?” He was enforcing mindfulness and luckily it has stuck with me. It’s almost impossible to always be mindful, yet I have heard stories where some people have been in silence for years and the practice of mindfulness becomes a first nature. Forcing ourselves to be in the moment and asking ourselves what we are doing? Yesterday I was extremely hungry and I made a snappy comment to our server at the restaurant. I recognized how rude it was almost in the exact moment I had said it, if I had waited just a moment and really thought slightly before or while I was speaking, it most likely wouldn’t had happened. I excused myself from the table and apologized later, but it still didn’t make up for the fact that I released my angry belly on this sweet man simply trying to help us order food. We can’t be perfect, but we can be mindful; even if the mindfulness is delayed.
Maybe this mindful empty spot of ours is delivering delayed messages that we shove aside or compartalmentialize for the time being and then they pop up later, never lost but possibly stored. Once visiting this empty space and accepting what comes up we may chose what we want to do. Maybe we choose to go deeper, give a reaction, analyze where it stems from, or what I think is growing on me and what I find meditation to help with the most, is to watch the message as if it’s a billboard you pass on the highway, recognize it, accept it and then do absolutely nothing.
It’s beautiful and seems easiest to practice mindfulness when we are in a seated position, alone, a peaceful environment, walking causally down the beach shore and so forth. Yet, sometimes we don’t have a beach shore, or the patience to sit still (such as myself) or even want to properly “meditate.”
It’s been said that we should mediate 23 hours of the day and practice asanas for 1 hour of the day. Although this may be possible for some of us, it’s a not realistic for a majority of us. However, breaking it down step by step and beginning to be true to ourselves and mindful of the things we have control of. Mindful of what we are thinking, what we are saying, what we are doing, what we are eating; where we are walking. Being purely and blissfully mindful of who are we and how we are leaving a footprint on this day in the world. What I have been doing which I find extremely helpful if I don’t have the space or feel comfortable meditating, I edit my actions as if I am watching my own personal movie; reading the script while it’s being said and watching the motions while they are being played. Therefore, I encourage you to be your own director, watch your own movie, and listen to what your body tells you as if your body is your cast members reacting off your decisions.