Mindfulness is not just about finding 20-30 minutes a day to meditate. It is encouraged that you incorporate it into as much of your daily life as possible. To do this, you have to choose certain daily tasks in which you can become present. I chose brushing my teeth and showering to start with.
I’d be lying if I said I thought it would be a challenge. I just assumed becoming present would be easy, but carrying out this task made me realise just how easily distracted I was. When I brushed my teeth, I was thinking about everything but brushing my teeth. When I was showering, I was planning my day and/or daydreaming. How did I let the simple things pass me by like this?
What challenges me the most is that there is no right way to feel. I’m a person who likes to carry out a task and do it correctly. Now here I am doing something that isn’t graded, or mastered by practice. The methods and results are unique to the person, which, for me, makes it a little harder to master.
So I started with brushing my teeth. In the beginning, once my mind wandered, I simply gave up. I ignored the ‘don’t beat yourself up’ part and did just that. It took me a time to realise that I’m always going to have good teeth brushing sessions and bad teeth brushing sessions, but it’s how I respond to them that counts.
The most important thing you can do on both of these occasions is to gently bring your attention back to the task at hand when you become distracted. And the same goes for showering, or any other task you choose.
While practicing in mindfulness doesn’t make perfect, it does create positive mindful habits.
Other potential mindful tasks include:
- Washing dishes
- Sweeping/mopping the floor
- Cutting the grass
- Making the bed
If you have anything to add to the list, please do so in the comments below.