Somewhere woven into my daily life, amongst the tasks and conversations, I try to take a meditation vacation. Or at least a mindful rest from the thoughts that some days flow incessantly through my mind.
Not necessarily because the thoughts are overly unhelpful or problematic, in fact they are sometimes quite useful in solving problems or planning ahead. I look at it more like my thoughts have mastered the art of getting my attention and it's my role to take the spotlight off them for a while to give other parts of my living experience a turn.
Consider all of the things you are able to observe in terms of you being human: the things your body can notice by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting, and then your inner experience of thoughts, memories and feelings.
If the part of you that can observe all of these faucets of life only has the capacity for 100% attention, why let your thoughts hog 99% of it?
By intentionally and mindfully paying attention to your physical senses you shift the focus off of your thinking mind. The thoughts are still there, but they are a little quieter in the background. Being mindful in this way takes practice, as your thinking mind has been used to getting your attention since you were a young child.
So start simple and practice. Pick a regular daily activity and see how long you can focus on your senses as you engage in it.
Take watering the garden as an example. I find I can easily slip into my mindful meditation vacation by listening to the water hitting the plants, feeling the light wind breeze of the afternoon on my skin, smelling the scent of the flowers and seeing the various shades of green in the leaves.
My mind is like yours and hooks me out of these moments with regularity, but I have learned to notice when this happens and simply come back to some part of the physical sensation of the activity.
What activity in your everyday life could you try this on? Doing the dishes? Having a shower? Or eating that bowl of ice cream with warm caramel topping drizzled over the top?
Give it a go and take your own mini vacation at home today.
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