Like many Americans I am returning back from a Memorial Day vacation. This time, as I returned to the daily routine of my day I have chosen a more mindful approach when enacting the activities of my day. Taking a personal inventory to ask questions such as “What did I truly miss while I was away or who did I miss when I was away?” are important questions to ask. Of course everyone has things in her or his daily routine that may not be enjoyable per say, however one can agree that if the activities improve the life experience overall, it is worth keeping such actives in the daily routine. For example, doing dishes and laundry, or taking coursework in a subject that is not one’s strength, are activities that person may not want to return to however, she realizes that they need to be done. Especially if that person enjoys eating off of clean plates and having clean clothes to wear.
The important part is not to mindlessly return to a routine after vacation. Ask if the typical actions of the day are producing the results that bring feelings of progress, fulfillment, satisfaction, and yes JOY! This life we have is so short and precious if it has become constant drudgery and compromise, instead of being fun and interesting most of the time, than something is out of balance and needs to be addressed.
So As you return from vacation or the stay-cation of a three day weekend I invite you to mindfully reenter your routine and make it a more satisfying one in order for you to have a happy life.
Part fourteen in the A-Z series. N is for Now.
It seems more important now than ever to discuss the notion of Now. This precise moment. It’s potential. It’s importance to the future. Especially when with the increased choices and distractions available today how many people are actually engaged in now and are getting full benefit from the opportunities it presents?
How many people now a days are in the moment? What does it mean to be in the moment? It means to be totally available and open to the spontaneity and potential of interaction with a person’s environment at any particular point in time. What are you potentially missing by not being fully into your Now? What people have you not met, conversations and learnings not had, beauty not seen, events not appreciated, inspirations not able to come? With iPods and laptops with customized information, tv with the same, most people are taking in so much information. Yet rarely do they sit in silence to process this information.
Rarely do they ask “What are my thoughts?”,” What do I see in my life?” even more rare is the silent moment to just be open and observe or to listen to one’s own inner voice for the lessons and inspirations that are there if we are quiet and still enough to hear them.
When meeting a friend for lunch does your mind really listen to what they are saying? Or is it on the meeting you will be at in a few hours, the pain you felt as a child, the bills that you will have to pay when you get home that evening, and the fact that you need to set your TIVO to tape that show you will miss while watching another show? What heart felt connections might you be missing? Especially when both people in the conversation are barely 10% there in the now?
When on a date with a new person is the date a blank slate? To some it is difficult to go into a new relationship with a blank slate. They have a proverbial checklist from past hurts and relationships already present at the table. A minefield the person sitting across the table needs to get through for a second date and it can go on and on until inevitably the relationship destructs. By being in the now, taking the lessons from the past and understanding that it was the past and that the past doesn’t dictate the future allows the possibilities of something better. By bringing in the pain of the past it makes the present painful as well when it may not need to be. That is such a tragedy. Allow the warm sunshine of happiness to flow into your heart if you are having a hard time leaving expectations developed in your past behind you.
Think of the connections missed while the iTunes are playing and focus is only on a specific goal. When taking a run, walk, biking do you shut the world out or take the world in? There is a recharging that happens when a person takes the world in. It is a very spiritual connection that is very fulfilling. It is something important to well being.
So unplug for awhile, look around you, take in the now.