This may seem strange, but I am just starting to understand that I have always been in a rush.
Back when I was in the thick of raising five children, I dreamed of a time when I could stop feeling frantic every day. There was always somewhere to be or something that needed to be done. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, picking up, dropping off, laundry, dry cleaners, doctors appointments, drugstore, practice, games, school, birthday parties, etc. etc. etc… It was never ending and I used to long for a time when I would have unstructured time.
Things are different now. I actually have time for long walks, tea breaks with friends and time between clients. Life has slowed down and that is a beautiful thing–something that feels earned.
But there is more to this story. Even though I have down time and take care of myself, there is something very big and very important still missing.
I have always been a structured, regimented and disciplined kind of person. I grew up that way, I created my single life that way and I continued the trend when I became a wife and mom.
What I am slowly starting to understand is that I have been a human doing instead of a human being.
It has always been about the next thing. Go, go, go. What’s on the agenda? What’s for dinner? Where do we need to be? All about the schedule and the RESULTS.
Get the grade. Go to college. Get a good job. Make more money. Find the guy. Buy the house. Have the kids. Burn the calories. Win the game. Keep up appearances. Increase the 401K. Pay the bills.
On and on it goes.
It’s always about getting ahead or improving or winning. There is always a purpose, a finish line; a constant striving and yearning.
It’s never just because. It’s never a peaceful, deliberate, intentional step by step action being taken because it feels nice.
When you take that route it is called mindfulness. Being where you are. Enjoying what you are doing for the sake of doing it, not getting it done.
And even though I have been aware of mindfulness for years, I am just understanding how to apply it to my life. I always got the concept, but until now I haven’t been ready to truly incorporate it.
I need to slow down. Not just in the way that has my schedule be more empty. But in the way that I move. In the way that I take deliberate action. That when I am cooking or driving or reading, that I am truly cooking and driving and reading.
I need to focus on what I am doing and not let my mind keep thinking about the next thing. I need to embrace the enjoyment of the task at hand, not doing things just to get them done or for a result.
Moving slowly is not something that I have ever done.
It seems simple, but accomplishing it will not be easy.
Being mindful and slowly paced means paying attention. It leaves no room for mental laziness. I will need to keep this new deliberate action at the forefront of my brain all the time.
Feel the sheets as I make the bed.
Smell the fruit as I cut it with intention.
Listen to the leaves rustling in the wind.
Savor the food that I put in my mouth.
I am ready to feel how different life can be from the perspective of a human being and not a human doing.
I’ve done a lot.
It’s time to practice being.
Care to join me? In the comments below, tell me the ways that you could be more mindful and enjoy life more slowly. What will you change first?
In order to change your life, you must first change your mind.