Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The transition

We leave work. We either go home or we go get kids from school. We go home, or we take the kids to soccer practice. Or we go to night school. Or we go to a second job. Or we go to the gym, meet friends for cocktails or run errands. Or we go home to make dinner, pay bills, supervise homework, let the dog out, catch up on email, tend to the garden or start getting ready for the next day. We do all of these things, but we don't do them mindfully. We leave work and get in the car, but work is still on our minds. We are with our family, but our mind is on all the things we have to do next. We are making dinner, but we only check on pots while we do other chores around the house. And we do all of these things in a state of agitation. We split our minds in several ways, not really paying attention to any one thing we are doing. Our minds don't quiet down and our bodies remain hyperactive, even if we don't see it.

I suggest a transition, a purposeful shift from one activity to another. When you are finished with one thing, set an intention to let it go and be present for the next thing. You could create a ritual, something that will signal your body and your mind to come together here and now. Maybe you chant a mantra or say a prayer.

I transition into receiving my son from school by stepping away from the computer and singing to myself one of the songs I used to sing to him when he was younger. I transition into chores or long drives by pumping up the music. I transition into a meeting by putting my phone away and repeating to myself I am in a meeting, I am listening, I am focused on (insert topic of the meeting here). This way I don't think about the calls I have to make, the errands I have to run or what's going on this weekend. I transition into meditating by lighting incense, turning the lights down and resting my body for a few minutes with a mental reminder: I am meditating and nothing else. I transition into writing, vacations, date night, sleep, reading and family fun night consciously and it has helped me enjoy each activity and each person more.

Today is a good day to set an intention to be mindful, to be present and to bring all of who we into each activity, interaction and relationship. We will enjoy life more deeply. We will sleep better. We will be calmer, happier, more satisfied, more focused, more relaxed and thankful.

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