Hi there my lovely readers! Happy eve of Christmas Eve to everyone. For those who celebrates Hanukkah, happy eve of the first day of Hanukkah to you all! As you know, the holidays are wonderful time of the years to spend quality time with your family. This is the time when we all come together and enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the magic of togetherness. Life is short and we set aside our differences and embrace each other. However, I want to share some small tips that may help make each small moment more memorable for you. Happy reading!
Here in the western hemisphere, we are too busy with our everyday life and have very little time to stop and take a deep breath. We always tend to verbally process information in an analytical and sequential way looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole. However, rarely do we take the time to be non-verbal and intuitive, using pictures rather than words. It is in the later part that allows us to be more connected and allow us to experience more.
Life is literally unfolding in front of us in the present. However, we let it slip away, and allowing time to move past us unseized, and unobserved, while we squander away precious moments of our time worrying about what could have been or what could be. When we are at work we daydream about the dream vacation; on vacation, we worry about work piling on our desk. Most of us do not take part in our thoughts in awareness. Rather, we let our thought control us. As Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindful-based meditation put it, we need to “rest in stillness—to stop doing and focus on just being”.
Mindfulness is living in the moment. It’s a state of openness; an intention on the present. When are mindful you we become an active observer of your thoughts, as they are. You are awakened to your life experience. It is the nonjudgmental awareness of the present, which in turns reduces stress. Studies have shown that mindfulness that led to boosting immune function and chronic pain, lowering blood pressure, and even helping people cope with cancer. Even my colleagues at Children’s National Health have been using this technique to help adolescents with congenital heart disease.
So why I am talking about mindfulness in the context of holidays? Well, when you are mindful, you are more likely to experience yourself as part of a greater universe, and be right here right now. This keen awareness will allow you to focus on your immediate experience without attaching it to your self-esteem. If can tune out the chaos surrounding you and just tune into your immediate experience. You want to ice skate with your family but don’t know how? Don’t worry about other people starring at your. That’s the first paradox of living in the moment: Thinking too hard about what you’re doing actually makes you do worse. Just loosen up, as no one’s watching you. People are too busy worrying about themselves. There is a term about people like you and me, absolute beginner. Focus less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what’s going on in the room, less on your mental chatter and more on yourself as part of something. Once you do that you will be able to enjoy the experience so much more.
This is living in the moment. You need to start by taking deep breaths. Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that people can condition themselves to slow down and appreciate the present. It all begins with one question. “Ask yourself, ‘Am I still breathing?’” Tolle says. “You suddenly feel the air flowing into your body and out of your body… At that moment, you’ve entered the state of presence. Even if it’s only five seconds.” Another exercise involves using all your senses when going through usual everyday motions, such as washing your hands, or even eating. Do these things consciously. As Tolle instructed, “When you wash your hands, feel the water. Smell the soap. Becoming acutely conscious of sense perception means looking, hearing, touching. It brings you into the present moment. ”These exercises may take a little effort at first, but Tolle says that they do end up becoming second nature. “The more you bring those moments of presence into your life, the more your old conditioning becomes eroded, gradually,” he says.
I do the same thing when eating. Making time to focus on what and how we eat is the most important step to mindful eating. Set aside time to enjoy your meal. It’s important to eat in a place that allows you to focus on your food. I then acknowledge my food. This acknowledgement is not simply an opportunity to give thanks. It also allows me to disengage from what I was doing and turn my focus to the food and experience before me. As I eat, savor one bite at a time. I feel the texture of the food with my tongue and before I put the food in my mouth I smell it. I try to feel all the favors, and textures through mouth. Eating is a very sensual experience, hence I enjoy the moment. Before finishing my meal,I would take a moment to appreciate the food I’ve just eaten, and recall my dining experience and notice how I feel. Such everyday experience become very satisfying through the mindful experience.
In conclusion, living in the moment will allow you capture the present and not letting precious moment squander away worrying about what could be. Follow the small techniques. So, when you go out today, follow the above breathing technique and just absorb the moment, use your intuitiveness and pictures surroundings instead of just focusing on you and words. Don’t stay too much into your head and be in the moment and let me know how your experience changed as a result. After all, as the Chinese proverb says, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift. That’s why it’s called a present”. May your holidays be as merry and blessed as ever.
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