Even though I spend so much of my time writing, talking and meditating on mindfulness, sometimes it simply slips my mind…to pay attention to what’s in front of me.
It happens often as I’m rushing out the door. On countless occasions, I’ve gathered my things, got out of the apartment, and into the elevator only to wonder shit, did I lock the door?
Once when I was taking care of a friend’s beach house, and again — rushing to get out the door — I worried the entire ride home shit, did I lock the door? The reasonable part of my brain said of course, you locked the door. You’d be an idiot not to. Then the idiot part of my brain said uh, I’m not sure. An entire chunk of brain space was dedicated to this agitation. What a waste!
So to help counteract this mindlessness that sometimes plagues my brain, I’ve started paying more attention to ways that help me become more aware of what I’m actually doing so I don’t have to waste time worrying what I did.
1. Speak Your Actions
DH taught me this one. He’s a huge LOCK proponent meaning he always says LOCK while locking the door. It seems a little silly. But it works. Saying what you’re doing while you do it is a sure-fire way to match your brain to your action.
2. Stomp Your Feet
OK, this is definitely inspired by the amazing flamenco performance I saw the other night (Farruquito–see him!). The passion that goes into pounding the floor can literally shake you out of a haze. The benefits of this are twofold – your body will enliven by the jolt of energy, and your mind will come back to the moment with a bang.
3. Stop Multi-tasking
Now that M is in middle school, he has a phone. One of the new-phone rules is no texting while walking down the street. Put simply, he’s too young to multitask like this. And quite frankly, no one should be multitasking like this — it’s a huge distraction! How can we be attentive to what is when we’re trying to do more than one thing at a time? We can’t. Focus only on the task at hand.
4. Slow Down
You could piggy back this with the prior tip, they go together like PB&J. Did you notice how in my intro I was always rushing out the door? I feel like I am ALWAYS rushing out the door! But when I can stop multitasking, focus on the task at hand and SLOW DOWN, things will go smoother, more efficiently and with more care.
What do you do to be more mindful in your day to day?
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