I’ve been thinking about mindfulness as my world starts to speed up again after lockdown.
The best thing about being in lockdown for me was slowing down. It was really a full stop. My world actually stopped.
I remember when this virus was first spoken about in March this year, it was reported in a panicked manner. The world was sick, and thousands upon thousands of people were dying. Then one Sunday, my world came crashing down, with cafes and gyms closing.
I don’t mean to make light of the pandemic. I’m not – This is serious. Our lives have changed forever. I don’t know about you. But I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and who I was with at the time my world threatened to close in on me.
I was at my brother and sister in law’s place with my husband, in my brothers men shed and the news was on. The reporter said ‘as of tomorrow, all cafes, gyms blah, blah, blah (didn’t listen to what else they said), will be closed’.
I was floored. They are my world. They are the people I talk with, laugh with, and connect with throughout the day. They are my world of contact and connection.
My clients left. My world closed down even more because my clients lost their jobs one by one. Then we were in total lockdown, and I had to go online doing zoom meetings, my world was shrinking more.
There was no more human connection with the outside world.
I felt devastated that I missed out on all of my daily life, and wasn’t allowed to see my children and grandchildren either. I could go on and on about how my world changed around me, and how devastating it was. And unsettling, because every day the news was more grim, with the rules seemingly changing ever minute.
No one had any idea about how to combat this virus. We’re living in a scary and uncertain world.
We’re all in this together
The best part about this is the world is in this together. All the experts in the world are discovering new information every day and are continuing to work towards managing the virus, and how we can move forward in our own world while having COVID-19 around for a while.
The rhythm of life
I’m based in Sydney, and I’ve noticed since opening up after lock down, I’ve lost the slow flow rhythm of life, where I felt like I was living and not just existing. I’ve been existing in my life mindlessly again. This feels so familiar. And I only noticed it because one of my friends spent a ‘day in the life of Cait’ last week. She commented, ‘Cait, I can’t keep up with you. You don’t even stop to eat, you’re on the go all day from 5am till midnight.’
She meant it as a compliment, but I didn’t receive it that way. Her comment floored me and made me actually stop and notice what my life had become again. I was a robot again in the rat race, putting one foot after the other, ‘Going 100 miles an hour with my hair on fire’ (this is how a friend used to describe me), only existing, not living.
What I Noticed
While I was in lockdown I slowed right down. My life became colourful and more beautiful, it was worth living. I was literally stopping to smell the roses.
I was grateful for being alive, grateful for the people around me. I lived my life so differently, I really felt the experience or living.
This Was MY Life In Lockdown
5am Wake up, get dressed, worked out/exercise
6am Made a cuppa and wrote in my journal
7am Made another cuppa, sat out the back with Kahlua and watched the sunrise
From around 8am onwards:
Was a mix of tending my garden; talking to my plants; talking to the stunning parrots that visit my native trees; taking lots photos of the beauty in my back garden; talking over the fence to our neighbours; writing; getting brilliant ideas for my business; reading; knitting; Zooming with family, friends, colleagues and clients; meditation; yoga; dancing; singing; cooking; singing and dancing while cooking and so much more.
I was living in my life not merely existing. I felt I was more in touch with the rhythm of life than ever before.
It’s About Living Mindfully
Richard J. Davidson (a mindfulness expert) says, “We can take more responsibility for our own brains by improving our minds.”
We live life in the fast lane, we need 28 hours a day to fit in everything that life is now. We watch our lives through iPhones, iPads, and computers, we rarely look up from them. Now when I walk down the street people are bumping in to me because they have their heads in their phones or they’re crossing the street dangerously in front of cars because they’re distracted by their phones.
What are you doing now? I know you’re reading this but stop and think during the day, ask yourself the question. Notice your life. Where does your mind go? How happy are you?
Did you know studies show that an average of 47% of people don’t pay attention to their lives. There’s an increase in distractibility, 76% of people surveyed report a medium to high degree of loneliness.
Did you also know that loneliness is twice more likely to kill you than obesity.
Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Mindfully
Think about how you talk to yourself. What do you say? How do you say it? Would you talk to another person in the same way? Probably not!
Notice the way you talk to others and try it out on yourself. Reframe a negative thought make it a useful one. Negative thoughts destroy who you truly are.
We’re born with 86 billion neurons and we naturally lose about 2 billion over our lifetime. This is just an interesting fact that I know.
The Dali Lama says, “Our lives are shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” Wow! Think about that. We shape our lives by how we think about the world, we do that.
What You Can Do To Reshape Your World
You can reshape your world and give it purpose by living mindfully. One simple practice you can do is live in the moment and notice what’s around you.
Go for a walk, don’t be distracted by devices. Notice – What you can smell, what you see, feel the textures of the things you’re passing, what sounds you’re hearing, what’s under your feet.
Eat mindfully. Prepare something you love to eat, it can be anything. Before you take a bite, look at it, take in the texture, the smell, the colour, the shape. Take a bite and really feel it in your mouth, take your time. Think about how it tastes and why you love it so much. Be like a wine connoisseur, really savour it, and really take your time.
Research shows that living mindfully lessens pain, it boosts your immune system.
The secret to living your life is, slowing down and drinking it all in. Really notice every minute, every second of your day. Your senses will open up and your world will become more colourful, more beautiful and more amazing everyday.
Let me know how you go with slowing down your life and how it differs from your normal life.
I’d love to hear from you. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org