Mindfulness in the Mundane
Updated: Mar 14, 2022
As a single mother, with a full-time job, I'm grateful for the time I have for my hobbies. Dance, yoga, and sketching ground me and make me happy. They are my me-time.
But these moments are short-lived, and I must re-enter the world of multi-tasking and constant motion.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring those two worlds together? If we could find satisfaction and peace in the busy-ness and the mundane?
It is possible and the concept is quite simple: pay attention.
Meditation is to pay attention. To notice our thoughts and be engaged in the present. But not all of us meditate nor have time in our lives to devote to this practice. The good news is many of us already do it without realizing it. Let’s call it a quality of presence in our actions. When we are totally immersed in an activity or a hobby, we demonstrate the capacity for meditation, for mindfulness... to pay attention.
I move, therefore I am
Mindfulness doesn't just happen in the mind, it happens in the body too.
Conventional sitting meditation focuses on noticing the mind and breath. But moving mindfully is also a form of meditation. I even think this method is more palatable for western culture where we tend to be more comfortable moving rather than being still. We even have our own terms for meditation in motion, like “flow state ” or being “in the zone”.
Find oneness with your mop
We lead busy lives and we don’t always have the luxury of engaging in hobbies to tap into the flow state.
Enter embodied mindfulness.
In embodied mindfulness, you are connected to any physical sensation, external or internal, that is alive for you in the moment: the soft wool on your skin, the cool grass under your feet,
the tightness in your chest or the tartness of that crunchy, HoneyCrisp apple. Like the flow state, in embodied mindfulness you are focused. But you are also intentional. You are deliberately directing your awareness to the experience of ordinary tasks, like driving or washing the dishes. When you find your mind drifting, you bring your attention back to the physical or felt sensations of the activity before you. Puts new meaning to multi-tasking, doesn’t it?
Of course, folding the laundry is not as fun and gratifying as playing the guitar or painting. But the point is to find opportunities throughout the day to generate the same sense of connection and immersion.
Make Friends with the Now
Finding time for our beloved pastimes and crafts are vital for personal fulfillment and balanced living. Embodied mindfulness, however, is a source of contentment in the ordinary. It is not an escape or diversion from life. It is to engage more fully with it and bring aliveness into each moment.