It was back in 2011, when I had the opportunity to travel to New York City to listen to Thich Nhat Hanh speak at a day long workshop on Mindfulness. My kids were young, 8, 5 and 3, and at this time, I was a stay at home mom. Going away to NYC by myself was very appealing, and learning how to not feel so crazed all the time was even more appealing!!
I traveled to NYC by train, which I really enjoyed. I love the sound of the tracks clicking by, watching the scenes zoom by quickly, and the rhythmic movement of the train. I finally had some time to read, and I was preparing myself for what we would be learning about in NYC. This is when I began to read the book, that truly changed my life.
I had heard of mindfulness, being a therapist this word had become quite popular, and the practice of mindfulness was on the rise. I really did not grasp the concept too well, and certainly did not know how the heck I was going to apply this to my crazy, busy life! And so I began to read, and study and learn about how mindfulness could help with the anxiety that I had struggled with, the day to day mundane tasks that I was doing, feel more present in life and have contentment that we all search for.
I began to read the practical ways in which I could use mindfulness in my every day life, even if my life felt nuts!! I began to understand what mindfulness was, and began to practice it, and felt the difference. I was able to really take one thing, one moment, one experience at a time, and life seemed to feel like it was slowing down. Now….trying to practice mindfulness for a beginner in NYC was quite a task, that was for sure. I have suggested this book to so many of my clients since that time, as I really do believe in the power of living our lives mindfully. In a society that is so “multi task oriented”, it takes practice to change this way of thinking.
With Fall in full force, raking the leaves comes to mind. A task that most of us would say is daunting and dreaded. If you try and rake through a lens of mindfulness…..just focusing on the raking, the sound of the wind, the smell of the Fall, the noise of the rake going across the grass, listening to the birds, and the sounds of our earth, raking will take on a new light. It can become enjoyable, and for that time, you have given your mind the gift of rest from the rat race. You will not be thinking about the past, or the future, but instead just be in the moment. That my friends, is a true gift.
I highly recommend reading this book, give yourself a chance to practice mindfulness, you will not be sorry.