Special moments in difficult days
Updated: Dec 20, 2020
I’ve been meaning to write a blog entry for a few weeks. Apart from being ridiculously busy – teaching 180 young people and 20 adults a week – I’ve been waiting for some significant mindfulness experience to occur to inspire me to write. I wondered yesterday how long I should wait. Can I simply celebrate and share a little moment?
My mindfulness practice enhances my life in some way most days and perhaps I don’t need to wait for something momentous to happen before I write? Maybe the thought, ‘Who am I to write about something quite ordinary in a blog?’ can simply be a thought that comes and goes, that needn’t be taken seriously?
So I decided to consider what happened this weekend. I’d got over the excitement of my sons being back from university, I had lots of work to do and world news was worrying. What jewels were there?
One interesting moment was when I was on my run – I love running even though I’m not very fit. I try to focus on my present moment when running for at least some of the time. Particularly if it’s raining or gloomy, or if I’m going uphill.
There’s not normally anyone about and I often shout out ‘This moment’, and note what I can see, hear and feel, to pull myself into the now.
For years I’ve told myself ‘This is it and I am satisfied’ towards the end of a run.
I need to make a conscious decision to come to the present, to move away from any automatic negative thoughts or to simply notice different aspects of the countryside.
Besides noting what I can see etc, I often also note what I’m feeling. On Saturday I was about to name various emotions I thought I was feeling – fear, concern, anger (about the state of the world and its possible future) - and then realised that in that actual moment I was not feeling those things; I was feeling pride, joy and relief. I might have been feeling those less pleasant emotions earlier but they weren’t there while I was running. Without bringing a focused awareness to my present, I might have not even realised that actually at that moment I was feeling great!
Lingering with a mini moment of joy
In the midst of a slightly gloomy Sunday (I’d been listening to too much news!), I managed to savour a lovely moment. I was decorating our Christmas tree with one son, while the other was playing the piano and my husband getting the ironing ticked off. I paused mid bauble to linger with this warm, cosy time. Just paused and absorbed what was happening.
Mindfulness helps me notice the present moment more as I’ve greater awareness when I’m caught up in the past or future, and can usually bring myself back from unhelpful ruminating.
My concern about world affairs can easily lead me to simply miss present joys. I’m grateful for the way mindful awareness can stop me being swept away with my thoughts into a world of gloom and powerlessness. And for the way it helps us notice the jewels, particularly the tiny ones.