This morning was the first of our Easter school holidays and as she always does in the holidays, when her daddy left for work, Lucy crawled into bed beside me for a cuddle. Snuggling in our pyjamas, I kissed the top of her head and really tried to tune into the moment. “I don’t think life gets any better than this,” I said, and I really meant it. Lucy agreed although she did add that life would be even better overall if there was world peace (she has always been this wise!).
Tuning in to to little moments like this that could so easily be missed, is what mindfulness is all about and sometimes I even plan for them. I stay in bed longer in the holidays, just so the opportunity is there for cuddles and every time I kiss those I love, I always take a second to really experience the feeling of connection. I even get up earlier every day in term time so I can really focus on my first coffee of the day: how it smells and how it tastes.
Much has been said about the benefit of mindfulness to health and wellbeing and book shops house many books that been written about how to cultivate a mindfulness practice in day to day life. In essence, however, I believe that practicing mindfulness really is very simple.The practice just involves taking a few seconds to notice. It is about paying attention to your surroundings and yourself. It is about recognising your feelings and letting yourself feel love, wonder, awe, joy, grief, boredom or sadness.
Today, I want to encourage you to take a few seconds to tune in and experience mindfulness for yourself. Sit down and focus just on your cup of tea without doing anything else at the same time. Watch a cloud drift across the sky before you exit your car. Listen to the sounds of the birds in the trees. Pay attention to the smell of your shampoo as you wash your hair and notice the feeling of the water on your skin. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, if you take a few seconds to be present and tune into the moment, you are practicing mindfulness.
Breathe and focus on how you are feeling and where you are. Breathe it in, for there is power in the ordinary to recharge your soul and renew your spirit.