In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.—Eckhart Tolle
Recently I hosted a weekend retreat in the woods of West Virginia. We practiced yoga and mindfulness, dabbled in paint and collage, and roasted vegan s’mores over a campfire. For many, they confessed that it had been far too long since they’d taken time to focus on their inner selves.
Taking the time to stop and notice what’s going on in the body and mind is challenging. It requires shifting from autopilot, carving out space to push the pause button, noticing the mind’s activity, feeling any emotions that arise, and observing the body’s physical sensations.
The good news is that we don’t have to wait for a weekend retreat to hit reset. You can do it right now. Stop reading and take three deep breaths . . . voilà, you did it!
In the above photo collage, I captured a few sweet moments from May—trying to do yoga despite my pups antics, walking a labyrinth, setting out succulents to greet the retreaters, savoring tea at the new Laduree in Georgetown. It’s these spontaneous mindful moments that make my day brighter and offer a mini-retreat in the middle of everyday life.
Here’s how I like to take a mindful moment:
Sip a cuppa tea
Write a love note
Sit in meditation
Read in a café
Eat a plant-based meal
Sit in a park
Connect with a friend
Get my hands dirty in the garden
Drink a green juice
Take a walk
Ride my bike
Soak in the tub
Savor dark chocolate
Connect to my breath
Spend time with animals
Plan my day in color
Walk the pups
Sit fireside or around a campfire
These are my simple every day activities that offer an opportunity to slow down, tune in, and savor the moment. What are yours? List them. Then choose three to make a priority today.
As Annie Dillard reminds us, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” I believe that our days, and lives, are made up of these tiny moments. Namaste.