I’ve been listening to a book about thriving, since you know, I am into that sort of thing. The author had recently gone through a life change after collapsing from exhaustion. One of the tools that she has recurred to is meditation, and in the book, within it she jumps into the topic of mindfulness. I don’t know much about meditation, but her explanation of mindfulness caught my attention.
The author stated that in order to be mindful, we need to think of what we are doing. She referred on how this unpacked your mind since you move from acting in the auto mode to what in my words is being present. This term has turned a bit cliche because of our disconnect in relationships, that in turn occurred from our failure to only focus on the one in front of us in a world full of distractions. In the same manner, we take even the smallest thing like brushing our teeth, and focus on that moment. You don’t give room to your lists, your preoccupations, your agenda, your stress: you take care of yourself by dealing with things as they come and immersing yourself in them.
Yes, it sounds super romantic, but hear me out. Earlier today I was doing a super feat of cooking multiple items at once. I was prepping baby food, baby’s lunch, my lunch, and dinner. As I was opening the fridge, I told myself that all of this can be scratched off my imaginary agenda, since I had not written it down. The feeling, not the thought, of how cooking every day is a bit mundane and burdensome, came over me. Thankfully my brain came to the rescue with this thought: if I make the effort of enjoying cooking when I do it, it won’t be as bad. Cooking isn’t loathsome to me but because it is a time commitment and something that you have to do regularly (we only eat out a couple times a week), it can turn into something to dread. The mature and sane thing to do is learn how to like it, because you are going to be doing it frequently. I don’t have to like every aspect of it, but if I focus on the process there are things about it that I will discover that I like or learn to like, and it all of sudden turns into something I look forward to.
Cooking is a simple example of what responsibilities can do to us. They appear to be big elephants or a giant boulder that we just can’t wait to surpass to get to the other side, when they are just part of the whole ride. For many years, I’ve lived for the end of the day, and then for the weekend, when I can have some time to do whatever I want. It is so tiring to only have a few moments of maximum enjoyment. It makes you feel like a slave to your responsibilities. I won’t go into a “do what you love rant,” because I know that we can’t always do that (see this post on why that isn’t a bad thing). I will say that having most of our attention (a little music might not hurt) into what we are doing will help us connect with it and possibly make it a more enjoyable part of our day. This obviously won’t work for everything, but I am sure that it can improve a vast majority of it.
Being busy for the sake of it is not enjoyable. Enjoying the things that make us busy can bring us happiness. The process of getting somewhere might be longer than our stay at the destination. Let’s do anything we can to make the whole trip a better experience.
If you try this tip, let me know how it went! I can say that my weekend was much better and productive after keeping my mind on my tasks.