Weekend Wellness: Mindful

The words “mindful and present” has come up in my coaching calls quite often this past week. Not only in the aspect of the clients being mindful and present, but ME remembering to be present and give my full and dedicated attention to each person.

In our busy lives, we tend to jump from appointment to appointment. It might be a morning of getting the kids out the door, the dog walked, navigating through traffic, working on returning emails, scheduling upcoming appointments, packing food for the day, reading through 10 texts, packing your workout clothes, going to the bank, stopping at Whole Foods to get your ginger shot (oh, wait, that’s just me) and this is all before 9 am. Imagine, then your coworker comes up to you and wants your opinion on something important and while you are trying to help them, you are also scanning your calendar worried about a deadline and seeing the phone light up with in incoming call, checking out the phone number on your phone and wondering if you should answer it or let it go to voice mail. At the same time a text comes through from your spouse asking a question, meanwhile your stomach is growling and you are day dreaming about lunch…all while you are nodding and pretending to help your coworker. How present and mindful are you?

Situations happen like this all the time…to me, to everyone I know.

How often do you bring your phone to a lunch with a friend and check your messages constantly? Can you even remember after the lunch half of the conversation?

When you go for a hike, do you feel the need to bring your phone? Maybe you do because you might have something urgent happening, but do you “jolt” and feel the need to respond when someone texts you when situations are not urgent?

How much do you notice on those hikes about nature, your body, the company when you have your mind is constantly checking off what you need to do later in the afternoon?

About a year ago, my husband asked if on our anniversary if we could spend the day in nature, around town, doing everyting we wanted to do, but never once checking our emails or phones. We (gasp) didn’t even plan anything in advance, nor did we check the internet for any “information”. Now, this is easily done when a person is in the boonies and there is no cell service or WiFi (or TV) but when you have it everywhere and to say “no” to it, it was truthfully quite challenging. At the end of the day, I still remember feeling a sense of liberation. We actually scanned magazines and sat side by side just listening to the sounds of nature. We were mindful about just “being”.

My point…you are aware in every sense of what’s going on. You notice what’s around you rather than being disracted continually. You become present.

One of my personal favorite places to become present is in yoga and on my bike. It’s truly just “you”. Your mind, your body. But “yoga” for example is outside of the class as well. Being engaged in what’s going on in that moment either by yourself or with others can completely change when you are able to remove the distractions of before or after what is currently happening in that space of time.

This is big stuff…yet it’s quite simple. Just like my anniversary a while back, create mindfulness about being present, then let the distractions go when it’s not necessary. Leave your phone in your car or purse (or similar) when you dont absolutely need it. Look into your friends eyes when you are spending time together and really truly listen. Take time to smell, taste, sweat and feel what’s around you fully without considering what you need to do in 5 minutes.

I too, need to work on this. When I do, I find I am more relaxed and grounded.

Try, just test this out in little moments like lunches, meetings, walks and even driving. I bet if you do this a teeny bit more daily, your mood and actions will reflect a sense of connectivity with what matters most to you.

Tammy Parkinson
Body Firm Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching www.mybodyfirm.com
408 896 2639