I’m not sure if you’re one of the 44 million people who have watched this clip on youtube (I’ve embedded it below… but wait until you’ve read the post first before watching it), but it got me thinking about how an average day can be sparked into something above average if we care to find the right buttons to push.
Intentional Practical Mindfulness is providing yourself with ‘buttons’ that remind you to catch yourself in auto-pilot and to be more mindful about how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, what you’re doing and whether you’re taking intentional action.
It takes discipline to stop maybe on an hourly basis for a moment of intentional practical mindfulness (think about using the timer on your mobile phone to help). What I know is that when you do, your days become more ‘alive’ and because you’re more present and in the moment, you experience more, feel more, think more, relate more (to yourself and to others).
Take out the actual or metaphorical ear phones that are blocking the real surround sound of life – you can still tune out the ‘noise’ and tune into what a person is really saying to build even deeper levels of trust; tune out the ‘noise’ and tune into nature’s sounds (yes birds are still singing, leaves do still rustle in the wind, waves do still melodically wash ashore).
The Slow-Food movement (vs fast food) is a wonderful example of intentional practical mindfulness. When was the last time you mindfully thought about the appearance of the food you eat? You eat with your eyes first. When was the last time you mindfully thought about the aroma of what you eat? Trying to mindfully anticipate how what you’re sensing will taste. And of course, when was the last time you mindfully thought about what it was you are tasting with each bite – the different flavours and where they dance around in your mouth?
… not that I’d recommend you try any of this while eating typical fast (junk) food – I’m not sure that would work in your favour.
Each of our every-day lives is a sequence of experiences. Unfortunately without intentional practical mindfulness, each day becomes one blurred experience that we often look back on and say “where did the hours go?”
So as you watch this clip, (turn your speakers up – the music is great) and while I hope and pray that this type of ‘drama’ doesn’t really happen in your life, know that you can create your own moments of truth, your own intentional, practical, mindful moments of connection with the myriad of experiences you encounter every day.