Who Mindfully Lives Each Day?

The author of seven adventurous Star Trek novels, Margaret Bonnano penned: It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.

But can we really live that way?

Every day moves at a blast-off pace brimming with work, appointments, children, errands, obligations, and more. We’re not slowing down. We’re accelerating.

When the term multi-tasking entered our culture, the more efficiently we could perform three or more tasks in sync, the more valuable we became to employers, family and friends. Just like circus performers spinning several plates up on poles, we’ve come to expect ourselves to manage concurrent tasks effectively.

That’s stress!

How do we live one day at a time with all our plates spinning in a world traveling 1000 mph per second?

I would like to live mindfully one day at a time—to only be focused on the day that I’m living.

My mind, however, tends to fret about what might happen tomorrow and I get stuck over-thinking about stuff that occurred yesterday, last week, and last year.

Former New York Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: Life is one day at a time. And thank God! I couldn’t take much more.

That sounds like someone who was accustomed to spinning plates every day. Someone who tried to keep yesterday and tomorrow in check while managing today. That sure describes me, how about you?

There’s enough to sort through, solve, organize, and workout in one day. Adding worry about tomorrow and second-guessing yesterday isn’t a good use of time and energy.

So I try to practice Mindfulness.

Now wait, before any eye rolling or scrutiny that you have no time for meditation, consider this—mindfulness in its simple form is merely the art of self-awareness. It’s a state of being aware of your thoughts and feelings in your surroundings.

I try to stop several times throughout every day and remind myself to take in the moment. I stay mindfully aware of my thoughts and self-talk and make it a point to kick negativity to the curb.

I’ve customized the practice of mindfulness to what works for me. I do not sit on a yoga mat in the Burmese or Full Lotus position.

But every evening, in quiet, I sit in a recliner with my feet on the floor. I shut my eyes and mindfully focus on my breathing. I envision a calm and healing energy going to my mind and body with every inhale of breath. When I exhale, I imagine all frustration and worrisome thoughts leaving my mind and body. After a minute or two, I focus my attention to gratitude for the blessings in my life. In about ten minutes, I’m done. I feel more physically relaxed and my mind is calm.

Mindfulness has been found to have considerable health benefits. It’s like a wonder drug that isn’t a pharmaceutical.

Think about it.

Dr. Sandy Nelson

Dr. Sandy Nelson

 

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