As one who has practiced meditation for some time, it is an essential part of my life – at this point, I really can’t live without it. Nonetheless, I’ll sometimes go for long stretches without “taking the time” to really relax and savor the opportunity to be mindful. While it does happen more naturally these days, I still go through cycles where it gets pushed by the wayside as more important things come up.
I find visual reminders quite helpful these days – I try to place them in various spots around my daily field of vision so I’m reminded to take a moment. Places such as:
My Home, where I place “opportunities for mindfulness” throughout my space. A small plant placed on its own on my console table, slightly separated from the other items. My tibetan bowl that gongs according to various time intervals set by me (great auditory reminder). Or one of my favorite books that I return to again and again, placed on my bedside table (moved to the top of the stack when re-reading is needed).
My Screen, so that, throughout the day, I can take a break from whatever online pursuit I’m currently involved in to give my eyes a rest. Since I’m in a visual field this seems like an oxymoron. But looking at inspiring photos that aren’t directly related to something I’m trying to accomplish is wonderfully liberating. My favorite for many years has been the meditation rooms on the Organic Spa Magazine website. Incredibly inspiring images and sounds that can take me to another world for several moments in my day.
My Neighborhood, which I find to be perfect for meditative walks. One wouldn’t believe that to be true living in Brooklyn, but my tree-lined streets are wonderful to wander through, physically and mentally. A good long walk when I’m trying to figure something out, or just need some time to myself, is a wonderful remedy.
While many discuss this topic, few truly take the chance to incorporate it into their daily lives. Trying the above, or searching out books on the topic can be a great place to start. Even pushing your desk chair back for five minutes and closing your eyes can be restorative. Stepping away from your daily routine for just a few moments can give you an invigorating calmness, with enough motivation to continue your day in a more present state.