I gave my Positive Living group the homework of doing one thing per day in complete mindfulness. This means being present with every sensation and emotion that you experience as you participate in an activity.
It involves being aware of the taste, smell, colour and texture of each ingredient you eat. It includes really listening to the sounds and silences of the music that’s playing. It’s about the feel of the ground beneath your feet with every step you take. It is the subtle sense of your breath as it leaves your nostrils and touches your skin.
We had a week off class because of the mid-term break. So one week later, when I started preparing this week’s class, I remembered the homework. I hadn’t done it once. I was anything from an exemplary teacher. I resolved to start. I still had a week.
This evening, as I sat down to dinner, I remembered the task. I had totally forgotten about it again. This was the perfect opportunity to practice. I could eat mindfully right now. But it’ll take too long, my inner resistance whined.
The logical part of me suggested that it wouldn’t take much longer to eat mindfully than it would to just eat. The only difference would be that I’d have to set aside my mind chatter for a few moments. You know what happened? I lost my appetite.
To be perfectly honest, I still haven’t done my homework. Some stubborn part of me is refusing to let go of the busyness, to quiet the din, to slow down, to simply be.
I’m sure the reason for this will become apparent but I’ll probably have to do all of the things I just mentioned first.
Could you do one thing per day in complete mindfulness for a week? If so, please let me know how you get on. I’d love to learn from you.
Posted in Positive Thinking, Random, Spirituality
Tagged breathing, eating, hallowe'en, homework, inner dialogue, learning, listening, meditation, mind, mindfulness, music, nature, now, positive living class, positive living group, present, resistance, senses, silence, stubborn, teacher, walking
The last few courses I’ve done have included the four different styles of learners. While reading through the descriptions, I learned that I am an Activist. I don’t think any of us fits perfectly into just one type of learning style. I am also a bit of a Reflector, even a Pragmatist, and less so of a Theorist. But I am mostly an Activist.
Activists are all about experiencing life and immersing themselves fully in activities. They enjoy trying new things and they move enthusiastically from one project to the next. I embrace this aspect of my personality. And I regularly encourage the students of my Positive Living classes to really live and enjoy life too.
So this morning, as I drive home to do some class preparation, I spot a sign for Donadea Forest and decide, on a whim, to go there. It is a clear, crisp October day and I, as the Activist, seize this opportunity.
However, there is a traffic diversion along the way and I become quite lost. Suddenly, I see a sign for Ballinafagh Lake. I’ve never been there before. The adventurer inside me whoops with excitement.
I pull into a small car park in the middle of nowhere. I get out of the car and start walking through the dew-drenched grass. My feet get wet but this doesn’t stop me from exploring this new landscape.
It looks like Hallowe’en, smells like Christmas, and reminds me of primary school nature tables. The lake is still and oh so tranquil. I place my ear against the bark of a tree and am amazed at the sounds of its inner stirrings.
The sight of red berries delights me. I tread upon a boggy carpet of autumn leaves. Deceased but still so beautiful. The constant cycle of nature is both thought-provoking and comforting.
This walk has nourished the Activist within me. I return to the car feeling energised and inspired.
What type of learner are you? (Click here to find out.) And what can you do today to honour that part of you?
Images: Author’s Own
Posted in Personal development, Random
Tagged activist, adventure, autumn, ballinafagh lake, beauty, being present, christmas, countryside, death, donadea forest, enjoyment, enthusiasm, excitement, experiences, fall, flow, four styles of learners, hallowe'en, honey & mumford, ireland, journey, kildare, lake, landscape, learning, life, living, lost, nature, newbridge, nourishment, opportunity, positive living class, pragmatist, prosperous, reflector, reserve, theorist, water, wildlife