Human Being VS Human Doing.
I’m sure you have heard it before. I don’t claim to have made up the term. Some days though, it just seems too true. I feel like a human doing more than a human being. You may also have heard the expression, “Don’t just do something, stand there!”
They are both along the same lines. Well, it’s hard! Really a lot harder than it should be. I don’t want to go into WHY it is so hard. Needing to over achieve, to feel worthy, demands of our busy culture, so on and so on. Since I’m not a therapist, the why is not my department. However, I promised you some simple, mindful strategies that help you slow down and “be”. Being grateful, grounded. Being mindful and making the present feel more meaningful regardless of how much, or how little, you got done in the day.
11 Simple Mindful Strategies
What I’ve done in the past is to implement a different one of these tips each week to start. Then once I’ve found the ones that work for me, I stick with them. Here you go:
- Share one gift of the day with your loved ones before starting to eat dinner. You can also do this silently to yourself if you are eating alone. Gift of the day can be anything you experienced during the day, as long as it was not something you paid for. This is a really fun mindful practice for the whole family.
- Wake up before sunrise. Let your sleepy morning energy slowly transition with the light of day.
- Upon waking each morning, visualize how you would like your day to go. Do this before you even get out of bed. Set an intention before your feet even hit the ground.
- Go for a walk. Repeat the walking meditation: “I am home” with each inhale (or each step), and “I have arrived” with each exhale (or each step). (You are EXACTLY where you are suppose to be.)
- Put a gratitude reminder in your pocket. This could be a stone or a shell you found on vacation, a piece of cloth, a particular pen, or anything else. When you have your hands in your pocket and feel it, let it remind you to acknowledge something in your life for which you are grateful.
- Wash dishes, drive, clean, make your bed, grocery shop, for mastery. Take a mundane task, any of these listed or choose another. And dedicate 100% of your attention to doing it well, in this moment. (One-pointed focus.) Begin by letting your breath take you into the present moment. Center yourself, become grounded, as you bring your awareness to your next several inhales and exhales. Let go of any thoughts of what you need to do once you are done with the task. Practicing mastery means finding joy even in the most repetitive, mundane pieces of your life, not just getting through them to get on to the next thing. As you wash the dishes, let your mind focus on on how to wash each dish, one at a time. Get into the “zone” and feel all of your other concerns melting away as you begin to really enjoy the task.
- Write in a journal daily. Don’t write your “to do” list, but notes, musings, thoughts, ideas, vacation spots. Jot down anything that inspires you. Start by just writing what is on your mind. It’s ideal to set aside a specific time each day to write.
- Sit down at your kitchen or dining room table to eat, not at the kitchen bar, in front of the tv, or on the run. Don’t take any electronics to the table with you. Before eating your meal, acknowledge all of the resources it took to get that food to your plate. (From the farmer growing/raising it, to harvesting it, to transporting it to market/store, to preparing it — all the people involved, all of the natural resources involved.) After eating, sit quietly for five minutes before getting up.
- Give yourself a foot massage with warm oil before going to bed. Be mindful and acknowledge how much you depend on your feet, how far they have taken you. Show some foot love!
- Set your phone alarm for every 1/2 hour during your day. Use this as a reminder to breath and return to the present. Once it goes off, take a 30 second break, draw your awareness to your breath. Breath into the moment. Let a little part of the quiet place inside you rise to the surface. Then continue with your day. (You might want to choose 3 hours in the middle of the day to do this every half hour-or whenever is the most hectic time of day for you.) At the end of the day, notice if you got any less work done? Any more work done? More creatively? More or less thoughtfully?
- Get good sleep. No matter what else you do! Do what it takes to get the most restful night sleep possible.
This month I put up a free download on my website called Living the Dream — A Cheat Sheet with 5 Simple Strategies to Hold on to Your Travel Bliss Long After the Vacation is Over. Check it out here.
Sandy Kingsley is the founder/owner of Inspired Exploration Travel, Travel to Delight the Heart and the Senses. She is an experiential travel enthusiast, trip & retreat designer, bowspringer, yoga instructor, mountain girl, suburban dweller, and grant writer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati. Check out what people are saying about her small group travels to India www.inspiredexplorationtravel.com. Itinerary for the 2017 Illuminate Your Soul — Journey to India and Nepal still has room for a couple more travelers.
Originally published at www.inspiredexplorationtravel.com on March 24, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com