Did you “let it all hang out” last week & take a mindful laundry microhoilday or three? How did it feel to sink into your senses & focus your attention on the task at hand? Did you catch your mind wandering two seconds in?? Haha – me too!
Thankfully, the brilliant thing about mindfulness practice is that noticing you’ve been distracted is the whole point. Failure (your mind wandering) leads to success: noticing that your mind has wandered, then strengthening your muscle of attention by refocusing on the here & now.
This knowledge that there’s actually no way to “do it wrong” brings a delicious sense of ease to my practice. If you have thoughts like “I’m not doing this right” or “this can’t be it” like I did when I was starting out, simply notice them & let them pass on by as you return your focus to your breath.
Because, my friend, if you’re doing it – if you’re purposefully paying attention to the present moment with openness & curiosity, & gently bringing your attention back to your breath whenever it wanders – then you’re doing it right!
This weeks’ microhoilday: Mindful driving
Have you ever been cruising along in the car & realised you can’t really remember navigating the previous stretch of road? Pretty scary, hey! So this week I invite you to strengthen your muscle of attention on the road.
Mindful driving rocks for three reasons:
- It’s a damn good way to stay alive.
- You’re integrating another attention strengthening practice into your day without having to set aside extra time for it.
- If you work outside the home, it’s a great way to regroup after a busy day. Spending part of your drive home focusing on the simplicity of the present moment smoothens the transition from work to home. It helps you to unhook from the hustle & bustle of your day so that, instead of arriving home swimming in your To Do list, you can leave work at work and engage with your family in a way that nourishes you all. A great practice for the lovely Dads too!
So how do you do it?
As with any mindfulness practice, mindful driving is simply concentrating on the task at hand: watching the road in front of you, observing the movements of the cars ahead, noticing the feeling of the steering wheel under your hands & the seat beneath you, listening to the sound of the oncoming traffic… and whenever you notice your mind wander into thoughts, plans & memories:
- Thank your mind for the information!
- Let the thoughts pass on by like clouds in the sky.
- Refocus your attention on the road, where you need to turn next, the feeling of your foot on the accelerator, the sound of the music playing on the radio… whatever is happening in your environment right now.
And that’s it! Another simple way to strengthen your attention, so that you can stay present & respond rather than react when parenting sh!t hits the fan.
Namaste, rad mama!
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