How many days do we take for granted? How many days do we mindlessly wake, eat, work, half listen, half connect? If there is one thing I've noticed since becoming pregnant, is how mindful I have become. I am mindful of what I eat, my reactions to people and situations, and mindful of the little (sometimes big) kicks and rolls of this little life growing in my belly.
I am awake to gratitude daily - feeling so lucky to be on this journey. I am awake to savoring these last few weeks of pregnancy (I will miss it so much). I am aware of the many tiny moments which had passed me by in years before. I feel as though I was half asleep - just mindlessly moving quickly through my days, getting things done, running about trying to accomplish every task. I couldn't tell you what I ate, or the last time I had woken in the morning with a deep breath and a sigh of gratitude.
Buddhists remind us to be Mindful, to pay attention to every moment, to experience the Now, for the now is surely all we can be certain of. The past is mere memory. The future exists in another Now but not this one. When we practice mindfulness, we focus on present moment awareness. We pay attention to what we have, rather than what we don't.
We find ourselves very vividly Awake, Aware, & Alive. Loving and grateful. Kind to ourselves and others. Our days no longer blend into one but become a series of distinct celebratory moments and events.
If you would like to grow more mindful, without neccessarily awakening through 9months of pregnancy as i have, here are daily practices which you can incorporate into your life over the next 21 days... which is, as they say, enough time to forge a new, hopefully life-lasting, practice.
Day 1: Notice three things that are beautiful today.
Day 2: Savor Something.
Day 3: Write a list of things you are grateful for, right now, in this moment.
Day 4: Name three good things about your life.
Day 5: Make a list of things that make you happy.
Day 6: Write a thank you letter to someone just because.
Day 7: Set aside quiet time and do something nurturing for yourself.
Day 8: Think about a time in your life when you were happy.
Day 9: What are you taking for granted right now?
Day 10: What did you enjoy today?
Day 11: Practice mindfulness before eating today. Really notice your food - how it looks, smells, who prepared it. Perhaps think about all of the many hands that participated in the growing or creating of the food you are about to eat.
Day 12: Notice something good about your day.
Day 13: Turn on music. Close your eyes. Listen to the silence between the sounds.
Day 14: Before you get out of bed, take a moment to breathe, be grateful, and set your intentions.
Day 15: Before you go to sleep, take a moment to breathe, be grateful, and set your intentions.
Day 16: Notice something good about yourself.
Day 17: Set the timer on your phone for 15 minute increments. Each time your timer goes off, say "thank you".
Day 18: Set your timer on your phone for hour increments. Each time your timer goes off, take three deep breaths, in..... oooouuuutttt.
Day 19: Think about someone you love. Think about how they look, the sound of their voice, the way they smell, smile, laugh, and make you feel. Think about how grateful you are for them.
Day 20: Name three simple pleasures you enjoy. Do all three today.
Day 21: Do something nice for someone today.
Do you have any suggestions for Mindful Living? XO, Tiffany