Every thought we harbor, every word we utter, every movement we make, every visual experience we enjoy is not trivial but contributing to our enjoyment of our very existence.
The age we actually learn the most about Mindfulness is during our childhood days. As a child, we thrive and acutely experience every moment of our existence – we live in the now and now alone.
How can Mindfulness enhance our living pleasure?
Mindfulness enables us to give our full attention to the moment – task at hand.
During my childhood days, in my Kerala home courtyard, we used to celebrate the monsoon school holidays by playing with the soft dark soil. The rainwater that would form puddles would be were we create our paper boats that would sail away to seek new adventures. Children take their play very seriously. They only lose interest in an activity if its not fun enough or not able to find it stimulating. If we were to consider how every activity in our day can be made more creative then through mindfulness, we can derive a lot more fulfillment and satisfaction from each day. What is the little extra you can do with your work and life that could make your day happier? Think about it.
Mindfulness enables you to understand who you are better – what gives you joy and what does not. It celebrates your uniqueness and individuality.
Imagine sitting cross legged on a sunset lit beach with the waves lapping against your feet. If you concentrate carefully on the experience and your state of mind as you experience this, your awareness and response to the environment will be unfolded gradually. By the end of the experience you would be aware of what you liked about the situation and what you did not. Every moment of our day teaches us just that – even our body communicates with us a lot more than we can imagine.
There was a time in my life that I would force myself into a pattern of behavior that I did not like at all. It came to a point where my body started to communicate the effects of the disrespect that I was showing to myself. The moment I realized what was happening and stopped this behavioral pattern, miraculously the physical discomfort disappeared.
What are you experiencing as you involve yourself in any task of the day? The answers to this question will give you several insights into your personality and your frame of mind.
Associate pleasurable or cherished memories with what you do.
Since my work involves interacting with people, I often make attempts to find appreciable qualities or quality in everyone I come across. More often than not, their communication and mannerisms connect me to memories of the past that are more often quaint. This has helped me enjoy the company of many more people and understand them better too.
Innovate steps to make your life more interesting and fun through learning with enjoyment.
One of the best pursuits we can indulge in to learn and have fun is by joining Toastmasters. Apart from improving our leadership and communication skills, the wealth of learning comes from our interactions with other Toastmasters. As a Toastmaster for the last 14 years, I can vouch that joining Toastmasters was one of the best decisions I made in life. Being a Toastmaster has complimented my life in every way.
Conceptualize your daily routine to suit your enjoyment. For example, you may not enjoy visiting the gym for your exercise but may enjoy half an hour of rigorous dance exercise. It may appear hilarious to the onlookers. As a follower of dance exercise, I have received enough of amused looks and chuckles from my children during my “dance exercise routine” but I’m quite unperturbed by the amusement since I find it works well for me! Besides, focusing on the objective of an activity is important when we indulge in any activity in our life.
Mindfulness promotes a feeling of Happiness and Wellbeing.
I was fortunate to grow up with one of the happiest individuals I’ve come across in my life. A person who chose to feel “happy” at all times despite challenges in his life. My Father’s state of mind was one that few could understand. His hilarious ability to laugh about death and the unknown state after demise would leave us smiling and at the same time sad.
His acute feeling of gratitude surpassed a lot of the anxiety he had experienced due to personal issues. He sought to be happy and focused on the “now”.
A few days before his demise, his ICU doctor, remarked that she had never met a patient like him. Apparently, during one of her morning rounds in the ICU, she noticed that he was strumming his fingers on his palm with a smile. It was then she noticed that he was strumming to the rhythm of the sounds of all the medical equipment around his bed. His health had by then rapidly deteriorated to a stage that he could not move, had reduced to mere skin and bones, had nasal feed and was barely able to talk clearly without his NIV oxygen mask, but through it all he was still able to notice the rhythmic harmony in his environment.
To me, he was a model of “Mindfulness” and will always be a reminder that, “Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude”