Saturday, 4 March 2017

In the here and now

Is it Friday yet? Is it summer yet? Christmas decorations before Halloween? Easter eggs before Valentines?

Call it human nature, forward planning or wishing our lives away, it's something we all do without even knowing it.. and then we wonder why time goes by so fast?

Mindfulness is one of those fashionable lifestyle choices we've been hearing a lot of recently. We've all seen the usual insta-posts and motivational quotes trying to inspire us all over social media, but could you remember the last one you scrolled past?
Nope, me either.
The concept has been on my radar a while now, but when I had a doctor sing its praises to me recently, I figured there must be something beneficial to this thing. 
He obviously knew I had a bit of recovery time on my hands and a capacity for over-thinking, and saw an opportunity. And who am I to disobey doctor's orders?

Turns out, it's a pretty simple concept really, but it does take a bit of focus and perseverance. Shouldn't be a problem with 'stubborn' being my middle name. 

Now, I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert here, but I do think the simple action of bringing focus to the present moment has saved me from myself a number of times these past few months. 

Smell the roses

Someone with a bit more mindful experience described using the process with the simplest of daily activities, like making coffee or eating raspberries. 
Not the usual to-go coffee mug in one hand, iPhone in the other and a mouthful of raspberries, but a conscious effort to enjoy and savour the moment. 

Image from Mndfulness Ireland on Facebook

Being mindful at breakfast can mean using all the senses to notice the aroma of the coffee, the colour of the berries, the taste of the different flavours etc. 
I don't even know if coffee and raspberries are a good combination cos I don't like either, but I think you get the point!
Come to think of it, breakfast isn't the best example to begin with either as it takes a bit of time, maybe use your lunchtime cuppa instead?

Yin or yang?

Anyway, the point of it all is to stop and notice where you are, right in the present moment. It can be helpful if you're prone to a bit of worrying - coming from an expert with a mind rarely secured in the present! 
These past few months have given me many an opportunity to concoct some 'if-only' or 'what-if' scenarios, with a lot of sitting around 'taking it easy'.  
Mindfulness Ireland

If taking it easy includes Netflix binging or instagram scrolling, it gets old after a while! 
The envy of strangers' wardrobes/adventures/make-up collections/weight loss transformations will eventually set in, and that's not gonna help with anyone with taking-it-easy!  If giving up social media altogether is just too big an ask, (if???), it can help to try step away for a while and look for something good in your own life every day. 

One example I'm using is the loan of an exercise bike to use until I'm allowed back at the gym - not quite the same endorphin hit, but at least it's a way to take back control for the moment.
I'm pretty sure my muscles are a bit happier already. Sure, this is my first return to blogging since my last surgery, so something must be working, right?
Next thing you know I'll have a social life up and running again!

My home gym!

Anyway, having waffled on long enough, I better get back to practicing what I preach. 
If anyone's looking for me at the weekend, I'll be on a long distance cycle through my living room, iPod in hand, with a gob full of raspberries. Nah, make that blueberries, just to shake things up a bit.. 

If you've any tips or suggestions for staying present, do share in the comments, the more the merrier :-)

See yis later,


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