Wednesday, April 2, 2014
A couple weeks ago, two of my life coach pals were staying with me and very aptly pointed out that I have a tendency to spend too much time focusing on the future rather than being in the present. I love planning—and come from a long line of highly anxious individuals—which is the perfect combo for projecting about 80% of my thoughts into future goings-on instead of those that are happening right in front of me.
Do you spend most of your time grounded in the past, present, or future?
Cultivating mindfulness has a myriad of benefits, some of which can actually help protect your brain against mental illness. But for many of us (or is it just me?) staying present is about as easy as keeping ice cream from dripping down its cone on a summer day. Sure, it's possible, but it requires commitment.
The good news is, we're probably all practicing mindfulness already and we just don't realize it.
As I contemplated my own forward-thinking nature, I realized (thankfully) that there are times I'm fully present in the now. When I'm gardening, I'm wholly devoted to what's happening right in front of me. I use all my senses—eyes scouting out dandelions that need to be pulled, ears tuned to the sound of my garden gloves rooting in the dirt, nose engaged by the scent of damp earth and cut grass, hands gripping my trowel to move dirt and gravel.
Who knew that weeding could be so Zen?
The more I can allow myself to approach other day-to-day tasks like I approach gardening, the closer I'll get to maximizing my mindfulness. (I'm feeling the keyboard right now as I type this, as a start.)
What opportunities in your do you see in your everyday life for grounding yourself in the present moment? And what activities already keep you in the now?