Being present has been on my mind lately. It’s funny because it seems that the 2 occasions when one is fully present are:

1 – when you’re purposely thinking about it, consciously being present
2 – when you’re completely not thinking about it, when you’re really into what you’re doing

Here are some times when I feel I’m the most naturally, effortlessly mindful and present:

 Being Barefoot

Walking barefoot connects you with the earth, lets you feel every single step you take, makes you conscious of where you walk to avoid stepping on something unpleasant. You can’t walk barefoot outside without having your mind on the sensation. It’s like seeing the ground in extreme detail through your feet. Every pebble, every crack in the sidewalk, the soft coolness of grass, the heat radiating from sun-warmed pavement, the resistance of rock, the yielding of sand.

Geocaching

Found it!

The passing of the geocache.

It’s like being Indiana Jones without the bad guys chasing you. Finding clues, searching for treasures, opening containers to see what others have left – it’s SO fun!  I find that when my little posse and I go geocaching, we seem to be very ‘in the moment’. Each little step or discovery that gets us closer to our find is so exciting. Watching my son find a cache, talking about where we think the clues are leading, searching through the cache once it’s found and looking at each article, deciding what we’ll leave behind for the next treasure hunters – it’s always an adventure and we never miss a moment of it as it happens.

Eating grapes

I make a point of enjoying each grape that I squish in my mouth. I bite down just enough to crack the skin, then kind of stick my tongue in and turn it inside out so that the next bite is a crazy splash of juicy, grapey goodness.

Savasana

I love yoga. I really do. But I have to admit that my favourite part is the ending when we lay there and relax. It’s unbelievable to me that doing ‘nothing’ could feel that amazing. The whole class feels good, but the relaxation, integration and inner focus is so centering and energizing. Afterward I feel like I’m back on track, fresh and balanced and renewed. There’s just nothing like it.

Cuddling

Sleepy boy on a boat ride.

My little guy taking a rest on my lap during a ride up the creek.

Being close to another person, close enough that cuddling is something you do together, is one of the best things in the world. The warmth of your co-cuddler, their smell, the fact that they find comfort in being close to you as well. It’s hard not to pay attention to that.

So….can I apply my ability to be in the now to other situations?

If I can eat grapes mindfully, then why do I stuff popcorn in my face? Perhaps I could use my grape-eating mindset when eating popcorn, enjoying each kernel, feeling its texture and fully tasting its salty, buttery deliciousness as it dissolves in my mouth. (Ok, I think I can see why I inhale it.) If I can live each moment of geocaching, why not try to be fully present while grocery shopping? Can I smell the freshly baked bread as I pass the bakery? Do I feel the chill of the coolers in the dairy aisle? Do I realize how many germs are on the handle of my grocery cart?

How about you…?

After much practice and training of your mind, do you think it becomes easier to slip into being mindful and present on a regular basis? When are you the most mindful?

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