So many of us go day-to-day living according to mundane tasks. Wake, dress, eat, drive, work, eat, work, work, drive, occasionally play or perhaps do more work, eat, decompress, sleep, repeat. Our days become routine, and the motions float on from one to the next, without much regard for what we are actually doing. Often times, we are focusing on the next step, never truly focusing on the task-at-hand. Or perhaps we focus on the previous task, causing us to over-think and judge whether we performed it correctly or how it affected ourselves and others. Focusing on the future or the past disconnects us from the Present, thus creating the dreadful mundane.
The truth is, you cannot avoid the daily tasks. But you can re-establish the experience of these tasks. So, how do you unravel the beauty of the mundane?
The key is where and more importantly when does your mind operate. Understanding the reference of your mind’s time will help you recognize the current state of your mind. You can then work towards aligning your mind to focus on the Present. Does your mind operate mostly in the future? Or does it lag behind in the past? Are you aware of the Present?
The Present exists right now. Some people even refer to it as the Now. The Present does not exist two seconds, or two years ago. It does not exist in the next task or in tomorrow. The Present ONLY occurs at this very moment. Being aware of the present moment influences your experience in the task-at-hand. If you train your mind to operate in the Present, you’re able to find peace and joy in what you’re doing. You will also be able to perform much more effectively. Present-moment awareness is a part of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the state of being conscious and aware.
How do you become mindful of the Present? Mindfulness is a developed skill. Just like any skill, mindfulness requires learning, discipline and practice.
There are tools to help you become mindful; some of these tools include physical, mental and spiritual exercises. Physically, you can practice yoga, go for a run, indulge in a massage or sit completely still. Mentally, you can read, write, meditate or repeat mantras and affirmations. Spiritually, you can pray, worship or read a doctrine of faith. These are only a few ideas to create comfortable conditions in which you can practice mindfulness. Whether you do one of these exercises to help practice mindfulness, or continue on with your daily tasks, the key is to remain totally aware of the present moment. How do your mind, body and spirit reside in that moment? Do you have many thoughts, one thought or no thoughts? How does your body feel? Where does your body feel? Questions, such as these, will help you find your self in the Present, thus becoming mindful.
To bring joy and peace in your awareness of the Present, you must remain non-judgmental of any and all that is occurring. Allowing the moment and your self to simply BE. Remember, my friends, we are human beings; we are not human doings. Being fully in and aware of the moment will greatly impact how you experience the doing.
The New Year tends to be a time of reflection and projection, putting your focus on the past and future. I encourage you to welcome mindfulness in to your New Year, to experience your days from the Present-to-Present instead of dwelling on the task-to-task. Remain connected with your self in each moment of this year, and discover the beauty in unwrapping the Present.