Charlie and I woke up early this morning to the bright sun beaming into the house. Michelle's sister stayed over last night and the two of them are still sleeping. The house is peacefully silent. I briefly interrupted the quiet by grinding some coffee beans and then relaxed on the couch with my most loyal companion laying next to me. In this moment, I became fully aware of how quickly time seeps away when life gets hectic. And when life gets busy, I almost always deprive myself of what I love.
I enjoy writing (or blathering) on this blog. I surprised myself when I pulled up the page to see my last entry was seven weeks ago.
I love running and, sadly, it has probably been at least that many weeks since my last run.
I take pride in finding time for Charlie, playing fetch in the backyard, walking or running with him, and grooming him. Lately, I have forgotten about the importance of those moments, for both of us.
I am thankful for the relationships I have with family and friends. While I have thought about people lately, I have failed to reach out to some of them, call them, or spend time with them.
What I have been doing is practicing mindfulness. And since I have neglected some parts of life, I thought it might be appropriate to write how mindfulness can enrich life.
While I knew of mindfulness long before, I really began to think about it and apply it (to my life and my teaching) during a graduate class I was taking for my master's degree. Mindfulness is the art of paying attention, or really being attuned to the people and things around you. It requires a full seeing or observation to what we often miss or take for granted.
I think of it this way: when we are busy, constantly multi-tasking, and thinking about several different things while doing something else, we don't fully attend to what we are doing in the current moment. Instead, we should focus on the moment at hand, and only that moment. Living the mindful way opens up opportunities to see, think, react, and interact in a more fulfilling and engaged way.
Read what Eden Kozlowski says in Mindfulness and How it Helps Kids Excel.
I have been practicing mindfulness at home and work and it has opened up moments in establishing relationships with new people. It has helped me to see challenges more clearly and has given me better insight for how to interact with them. I have grown to embrace the process of progress, rather than stress and fret over the details along the way. I feel fresh and energetic when encountering the daily, often monotonous tasks of life and work.
Now I must refocus on those things I love. Have you considered being more mindful? What in life have you neglected lately?