As I am enjoying a wonderful holiday in St. Louis, surrounded by loved ones, I realize, or should I say the Judge inside my head, reminds me that I have strayed a bit off course with my meditation schedule.
I am an avid meditator, who practices anywhere from ten minutes to an hour per day. It is an outlet that helps keep me balanced, attentive, and observant of my inner and outer world.
Naturally, it is more difficult to find time to meditate when you are among large groups of people. It isn’t easy to step away from friends and family and find a quiet space to meditate, especially when you spend so little time with them and perhaps there isn’t a quiet space to retreat to. So what do you do?
Find some moments throughout your day to be mindful. Meditation is a formal practice of mindfulness, but you don’t have to be sitting in a quiet environment with your eyes close in order to be mindful. You can be mindful in any moment you choose. All it takes is your complete, nonjudgmental, and intentional attention on what is taking place in the present moment.
There are a multitude of activities you undertake throughout your day. Each and every one of them is ripe for your complete and undivided attention. It is the formal meditation practice that helps you utilize mindfulness in your daily interactions.
In order to maintain a mindful awareness it helps to concentrate on your breath, just as you do during a meditation session. In the same way that your breath serves as an anchor during a formal meditation practice, it can also keep you centered as you go through your day.
If you are in the middle of a conversation and you notice your thoughts drifting away, simply focus on your breath and bring yourself back to what you are doing right now. This technique can be used while you are brushing your teeth, cooking, eating, taking a shower, working, etc.
Just because you don’t have time to meditate doesn’t mean you can’t strengthening your awareness and live presently. Like anything else, it takes lots of practice. Try it throughout your day and take notice of the mindful moments you experience.