I can see where I need to go. The building where I work is just ahead but I do not rush. I breathe, I smile, I listen to the sound of the world. The branches on trees rustle in the wind, cars zoom past on their way to some unknown destination and people are busily walking in different directions but I just breathe and smile and then my journey begins.
From my car I start to walk and be mindful of every step, every breath, every movement. I do not walk quickly, I have time, I am early for work. Three steps forward with one conscious in-breath and then the next three continuous steps with one conscious out-breath. It is an easygoing natural rhythm.
I carry on walking like so, my workplace is getting nearer but I simply enjoy this moment, moment to moment. I stop spontaneously by a wide grassy verge, a tree sits there in the middle, a true example of stillness in action. I breathe in the clean air, hear the natural sounds that envelop and embrace me as I close my eyes and feel so grateful for this luxury and engagement with beauty.
Then I open my eyes, my attention drawn to someone walking by, we smile, then I begin to walk once more, I breathe, feel my energy within, the aliveness of my body is a reflection of nature. A true love affair with life itself.
This is a beautiful way to walk to a place of work or wherever it is that you have to travel to. Try to give yourself extra time if you know where you are going to so that you can continue to walk and breathe mindfully wherever your travels take you. Life becomes a conscious expression when lived mindfully. There is an aliveness that so many people miss because they are so caught up in their minds, the self talk that repeats itself.
Even if you are late to where you need to be, let’s say work. You don’t have to walk so slowly but you can still be mindful even when moving quickly. In fact running can be truly exhilarating when done mindfully. Though you may not be able to breathe so consciously depending on your level of fitness yet the breath can still be observed.
The next time you are running late try this. As you walk quickly or say you are running for the bus. As you move quicker than normal feel the energy in your body become alive. Be mindful of this movement, be mindful of how your body responds and also be mindful of the fear that arises. If you still miss the bus, then you have missed the bus. There is nothing you can do, continue to breathe mindfully or otherwise you will resist this situation, you will be drawn into unconsciousness, be led away by thoughts and emotions and you will suffer.
When you are late for work for example fearful thoughts can arise in your mind and in turn these can trigger certain emotions such as anxiety, nervousness and even a feeling of helplessness. This could be because you know you will be in trouble with your manager, or you may have a sense of guilt that arises because you simply don’t like being late.
Whatever the reason, where you are at that very moment in time can not be changed. You cannot resist the present moment, of what is. Well you can resist the present moment but this will only cause suffering by the thoughts that you think and the turmoil of emotions that flood your body. The only way to find peace in such a time is to accept the situation as it is. If you are finding that you struggle to make it on time when you need to be somewhere you may need to simply alter your patterns of behaviour by being more organised. Getting up a little earlier or leaving earlier so you are not so rushed.
Of course sometimes through no fault of your own you end up being late due to circumstances that are out of your control such as something unexpected like a traffic jam, your bus not turning up or some other reason that is not possible to predict. In these situations there are things you can do in the present moment that can help. You can ring and explain to your manager or wherever it is your supposed to be and explain the unfortunate circumstances. If you have no way of making contact at that time then all you can do is accept the situation and create a sacred space for mindfulness.
If you are suffering with negative self talk that is replaying over and over again in your head, creating stories that most likely will never represent the truth of a situation that you are imagining at the current time, start by placing your attention on the inner body. Let go of the resistance that this situation shouldn’t be happening and accept that it is happening and that all the worrying and fretting will neither change or make a difference whatsoever.
What can make a difference is a simple and gentle smile. A slow, deep and mindful inhale and exhale. Take a step back from the projected thoughts and emotions and start to notice this insane cycle that continues to rise and fall. Watch these thoughts and emotions as they come and then leave, some may be more intense, others not so. After a moment of watching this internal drama bring your attention back to the inner energy body, take a few mindful breaths and again don’t forget that gentle smile even if you feel it is the last thing on earth that you want to do.
When you finally get near your destination, if you can, actually stop for say ten to thirty seconds. You’re already late and this will hardly make a difference now. Just stop, close your eyes. Listen to the sounds around you. If there is a breeze just feel it as it touches your body. Try not to label these experiences. Allow a stillness to permeate your very being. Feel, don’t think. Allow everything to be as it is in that moment.
There is nothing you can do to change the situation but you can empower yourself and instead of reacting against what is, you can act with what is and be mindful, conscious of your breath, placing your attention on the energy body and accepting the situation fully as if you have chosen it. From this perception, this place of being, even in stressful situations. By living in the present moment mindfully even amidst the turmoil of such strong emotions and thoughts a gentle peace shall begin to arise as you let go and just be.
And most of all, what a wonderful way to start your day by walking mindfully to wherever that may be!
These posts are part of my mindfulness course, “A Little Piece of Mindfulness for Everyday Living”. This is a mindfulness course borne out of my own experiences and spontaneous living. It is not a programme for you to follow as a set routine in a robotic kind of fashion. It is simply to inspire you to live a more mindful life. To learn to live in the present moment and to show you that it is possible to live a life of spontaneous joy, peace and harmony.
Let us together, step by step, through our daily living, through the love of our hearts and the peace of our minds, touch the souls of others and raise the vibration of the planet so that we may all live in a more peaceful, compassionate and loving world. Namaste ॐ