On the way to work in the shower…
With the demands of modern living seem to leaving us with less time to ourselves, engaging in a regular mindfulness meditation practice can become one more thing that we have to get done on a daily basis. Its ironic that when our lives are really busy, that this is the time when we should engage in a mindfulness practice the most.
Mindfulness practice is more than just sitting meditation, we can also practice informal mindfulness as we walk, drive, eat, drink, exercise, while you wait in line to pay for shopping or an area of recent focus for me…whilst in the shower.
Scarcity of a thing often gives it more of a perceived value, yet it’s easy to take life for granted, getting caught up in the automaticity of life and to forget just how fleeting our time in this body really is.
The experience of having a shower whilst thinking about and focussing on work, or what else needs to be ticked of on the to do list for must of us the norm…How often do you actually take time out to enjoy and be present whilst taking a shower or having a bath? Sure, there are those occasions when after a long day the thing you are really looking forward to is a long soak in the bath tub or the refreshment of taking a shower and getting rid of the days stresses, but for most of us, much of the limited time we have on this planet, is spent going through life as if it was a conveyor belt of duties to get done by the end of the day. Automatic thinking and going through life on automatic pilot is the norm, so pre-occupied with what we have to do next, where we have to be next, what happened to us in the past, what she said, what he said that we lose contact with the here and now, no longer really enjoying life, just living..
Here is a simple mindfulness skill you can easily add to your daily routine, as part of your morning routine you could become aware and be more fully present when cleaning your teeth, making some tea or coffee, eating your toast or in the following example when taking a shower:
notice the feeling of the water as it splashes on your skin, notice the sounds of the spray of the water, the smell of the shampoo or soap and the feeling of the shampoo on your skill. When your mind wanders, which it will bring your awareness back to the water, feel it running down your body and over your feet, notice the temperature of the water and once again if your mind wanders simply bring your awareness back to the water.