Mindfulness While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first, glance, that might seem a little silly. Why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I am completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.— The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. p.3 [ ISBN Amazon.com ]
The art of mindfulness is to be solely in the moment without judgment or anticipation of the next moment. As you are in the moment you are becoming increasingly aware of whom you are at your core. Becoming aware of your physical body or your spiritual body and simply focusing on the moment at hand. So many times we go through our daily lives rushing from one event to the next leaving little if no time at all to stop and become fully aware of what we are doing.
When we come to the point where we do become mindful there is a realization that we are in fact responsible for everything we have in our life. Taking self inventory of personal actions or non actions will bring out good traits and those traits that must be responsibly laid to rest. If you find that you are experiencing overly negative thoughts, or that your actions are hurtful to yourself or others then you must come to the realization that your behavior must change.It can be painful to come to the conclusion that you are causing yourself to suffer needlessly.
Becoming mindful can push feelings up from your root where you have to acknowledge them in the full light of day. Recognizing that you have created ways to shove these feelings deep within, but also have the same ability to create peace of mind through right actions and healthy mindfulness can bring about recovery of mind, body and soul.
Lessons to Being Mindful
1. One thing at a time. There is a Zen proverb which exemplifies mindfulness “when walking, walk. When eating, eat.” Experiencing one task at a time will help the mind stay on that task. If you find your mind wandering to the next task, or something from the past bring yourself back to the moment immediately by forcing yourself to concentrate only on what you are doing. This does take the beginner time to grasp at first. Remembering that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit will allow you to be more patient.
The rule here is to not take on more than one task at a time.2. Do not rush. Allowing yourself the time to do the task at hand slowly and deliberately will help you focus.3. Do not over task yourself. There are only so many hours in the day and trying to over compensate by getting more things done, does not mean that each task you take on will be done well, or mindfully. Learn how to delegate your task if necessary in order to take in fully each and every moment.
You must in the beginning of each day decide what you can and can now live with. If there are matters that must be tended to then they take priority and then if you have time left over then decide what can be done or what can wait till the next day. More times then not you will have to say no I do not have the desire to push myself into taking on to much.
There are some around you who will decide that you are changing and if they care about you they will enjoy the new you, if they are only around you because of what you can do for them, then they will tend to not be around as much as you say no more to them. In between each task allow yourself at least 5 minutes to bring yourself back to center and balance.
Having a fresh mind and present mindfulness will allow you to be fresh for the next task.4. Worry? Tell me did worry ever give you peace of mind? Can worry ever give you more minutes to your life? Can worry ever do anything but rob you of precious time? Of course the answer to all these questions is a resounding no, but even though we can intellectually say that there is no good grounds for worrying about an event; nonetheless it still happens.
The next time you have a nagging need to worry stop and place your right hand on your chest and take 3 good deep breathes through the nose and out the mouth. Why? It takes your conscious mind off your meddling worry and back the present moment.