Today is world peace day. Peace is such a beautiful thing and feeling. Both within oneself and in harmony with those around us. For me, finding peace in the chaotic world around me is more easily attained when I am at peace internally. One thing that’s been helping me find that inner peace recently is practicing mindfulness.
I’m currently listening to “The Confidence Gap” by Russ Harris on Audible and I love how frank the author is in his writing. He directly addresses readers who aren’t practicing the exercises described to disconnect from the incessant chatter of the mind. I am one of those who often counts myself as “too busy” to do the daily mindfulness practice. It’s on my to-do list, I swear! Meditating 10 minutes every day. I even have a great app, Headspace, to help me out! But I’m STILL not consistent with it. But what I learned from “The Confidence Gap” (and not for the first time either!) is that mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, anytime.
Our breath is always with us. Just focus on your breath for three inhales and exhales and you’ll see what I mean. Transferring this total body awareness to whatever task is at hand is a way to practice mindfulness without any interruptions or time “wasted” spent being still and silent. My chosen task is doing the dishes. I’m in the habit of doing the dishes first thing in the morning, while the kettle boils for my hot water with lemon. I love having an empty sink to start the day off. So now, I’m paying extra attention to how the water, soap, and dish brush feel in my hand. I notice how I’m standing, finding the proper posture in tadasana with my feet rooted to the floor. I carefully examine each dish as I’m washing it, rinsing it, and placing it gently on the drying rack. I’ve even started drying all the stainless steel items to avoid water spots, feeling each item again through the barrier of the dish towel while examining it closely to ensure it’s dried thoroughly.
I love this new addition of awareness to my morning routine. I used to be anxious to wash the dishes as quickly as possible so I could drink my lemon water, sit down with my book to read before breakfast and get on with my day. Now that I’m washing up more mindfully I’m not in such a rush to get through it, knowing that it “counts” as an essential part of my morning. Plus, I’m more likely to actually sit down for my “official” meditation, so I’m often practicing double the mindfulness!
Now, whenever I’m rushing and/or my mind is chattering away, I reconnect with the same feeling I find while doing dishes and give the task at hand the same level of concentration. Practicing this while interacting with other people is definitely an added challenge, but as long as I’m making an effort, I’m doing better than before! I hope my experience can help you find more peace through mindfulness in your own life. These ideas and practices can be applied to any and every activity you can possibly think of and will result in a more relaxed and contented you and all the positive benefits that brings to the world rushing around you.