Ok, am I ready?
No, wait, set the timer so you don’t constantly check the clock.
I close my eyes, all I can think about and feel
is the pounding in my head.
It pulses to the ticking of the clock…
My lips are dry. So are my hands…
Ugh! Will this winter ever end?
I hear the furnace kick in, and find myself anticipating
the warmth it brings.
Warm thoughts of my day come to me,
Encouragements and blessings.
My breathing slows and deepens.
I can smell the soup that was cooked for dinner tonight.
The small lamp in the corner of the room
Shines light and patterns on the wall and ceiling.
Peace and tranquility fill me.
The timer rings,
What? How can it be ten minutes already?
And I am grateful for these moments of mindfulness.
I have done different awareness examens, mindfulness practices and such over the last few years, and every once in a while I realize how I have forgotten to practice it for some time.
Two weeks ago I had to do a mindfulness exercise for a class I am taking. It felt so freeing to give myself permission to sit and be still and quiet. I don’t tend towards being overly busy in my life, but this exercise was a great reminder to me to just stop and be intentional about being mindful and contemplative. I started with ten minutes and I expected it to feel long however, I felt surprised when the timer went off. As if I wasn’t ready for it to end.
Since practicing mindfulness every day several weeks ago, I’ve found I am more able to notice little things around me and appreciate them for what they are.
The sound of the coffee beans being ground in the morning, the steam from the kettle warming my face, and the smell of fresh delicious coffee brewing in my French press. Or the sunshine warming my back earlier this week as Jeremy and I skated along the river enjoying a long weekend together.
Each time I am mindful, it’s like a little Sabbath within my day. In his book “Sabbath” Walter Muller quotes Henri Nouwen as saying “The noise of our lives made us deaf, unable to hear when we are called, or from which direction. … Our lives have become absurd- because in absurd we find the Latin word surdus, which means deaf.”
How true, that we become so busy that we become deaf! We cannot hear our own hearts or more importantly, what God is saying to each of us, and sadly, that is when we miss so much.
What about you? If you have never done a mindfulness exercise I encourage you to try it. See what you notice; your breathing rate slowing down, the temperature of your body. Sounds around you. Maybe some stress you have been holding onto, or perhaps something that has brought joy to your day. What is God telling you in these moments?