30 Days New – Day 17

“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.

bbq-500547_960_720We 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.

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

Start today with Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching! 

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

30 Day New – Day 16 & a Weekend Challenge for You

“30 Day New” – Day 16 – When folks ask me how they can tell they are “in the moment” I often tell them to start by  focusing on the water and soap when they are washing their hands. This simple task draws you into the moment and out of your head.  For yesterday’s “New” I decided to be in the moment each time my hands touched water.  I truly thought I had this one, no problem. 

IMG_1189Surprise!  I think I remembered to focus on the gentle and comforting sensations of washing my hands about 20% of the time. I was so often in my head that I didn’t even remember my commitment until much later in the day, even though I started the day off reminding myself of my goal. I was amazed at how many times I finished tasks involving water before I remembered what I was supposed to be doing.

So my “New” today is replay of yesterday to help me develop my awareness. I have already failed at least 4 times, which means I am on auto-pilot way too often; I have my work cut out for me.

Day 16 Results – I am now committed to further exploring my auto-pilot dependency for the entire weekend. I am giving myself today, tomorrow and Sunday to refocus my attention on this task.  Wish me luck and, please feel to join me.

All you have to do to accept this gentle mindfulness challenge is to commit to trying to fully focus on being in the moment each time your hands touch water this weekend.

Here are a few of the ways I plan to be more mindful . . .

  • Be aware of the water, the way it looks and the intensity of the flow, how it feels as it cascades over your skin.
  • Pay attention to the way the soap glides over and suds up on your hands. 
  • Watch liquid soap drip. Notice its color, the way it reflects in the light.
  • Pause for a moment after washing your hands and notice how they feel when they are wet. Slowly reach for the towel to dry them.

Post it (2)I have posted notes by my sinks to remind myself I want to slow down and redirect my thoughts. (After yesterday and this morning, I know I need all the help I can get, and that is okay. )

Mindfulness matters – moment to moment, minute to minute. Each and every time I am successfully “in the moment” the rewards are amazing. It feels like a taking a deep breath outdoors on a cool morning, a mini vacation or the relaxation of a comforting spa treatment. It’s refreshing and a great way to center myself and my thoughts and to give my brain a much need break.

Let me know how it goes for you! Don’t worry about doing it right, any time we savor the moment we are ahead of the game. Enjoy.

 

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

Start today with Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching! 

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

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