“30 Days New” – Day 17
What a difference a day makes!
After posting yesterday, I remembered to “be in the moment” about 85% of the times my hands touched water, a huge improvement over my previous day’s attempts. My watery reverie felt wonderful and I quickly began to look forward to the moments.
We had dinner guests last night, so I spent a bit more time in the kitchen than normal. Washing my hands became a sweet break in the action while preparing dinner for five. Cleaning the peppers, onions and mushrooms for grilling and rinsing the kale and blueberries for a salad truly felt relaxing each time I allowed myself to be in the moment.
Day 17 Results – Not only was I enjoying the sensation of the water cascading over my hands, I also began listening to the sound the water made while rushing from the tap. That awareness led me to notice the different sounds it made while adjusting its flow and when it splashed against the various fruits and veggies being rinsed in the strainer. Paying attention to the subtle differences became a satisfying experience.
The experience was similar to the moment in meditation when you focus on your breathing and you are suddenly aware of the sounds it makes and how your breath feels against your upper lip as you inhale and exhale. You quickly realize that the sensation and the sound of your breath had always been available to you, you were just too pre-occupied to notice. (Which, coincidently is now philosophically linked in my mind to the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound. My new philosophical quandary is “When I am breathing but not listening to my breath, does it still make a sound.”)
No matter the answer to either question, the rest of the world and all its demands and desires instantly fade away the moment we focus our attention on our state of being and the sensations we are feeling, which leaves us feeling alone and yet overflowing with our oneness with all things. It feels as good as the coziness of slipping into a warm bed on a cold night, enjoying the first satisfying sip of a cold beer on a blistering hot day, or the first delicious bite of our favorite dessert – all is right with the world in those moments, and luckily the feelings those moments bring are ours for the asking, any time we fully focus on the sensations we are experiencing.
Try it now, Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply in and out through your nose. Did you feel it? Did you hear the sound? Taking three deep breaths in a row with awareness can reset your brain and relax your body.
It might sound silly to be talking so transcendentally about simply washing our hands and paying attention to our breath, but any form of awareness is relaxing for our bodies and refreshing to our souls. Each moment of awareness is also a gentle and rewarding reminder of its benefits and hopefully encourages us to return to the practice. (And, because I know I need extra help focusing, I will keep post-it-note reminders in plain view!)
I hope your Saturday is filled with relaxing, rewarding moments. If you would like to join in my “New” awareness practice and challenge for this weekend, click here. I think I will go wash my hands, just for the fun of it!
To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.