How to Live a Life Fully Alive

“When you’re not mindful, you miss meaningful things. “If you miss the look in your child’s eye one day, you’ve missed it. If you’ve missed the look in your lover’s eyes the next day, you’ve missed that. If you miss the beauty of sitting under trees, well, you’ve missed that. If you sum that over many moments, many years, you may wind up missing the most beautiful aspects of your own life. 

We may have a number of excuses, but it’s up to us to make the effort. Who are you going to blame for that? I was too busy? Well, who was too busy? Who tells oneself I don’t have any time? When all you’ve got is time. All you’ve got is this moment,”  Jon Kabat - Zin


I heard this quote by Jon Kabat - Zin today while I was listening to a meditation on time and mindfulness. I would add, “when you miss the still quiet voice of God, you’ve missed an amazing opportunity experience His peace.” Makes you think huh.

Most of us rush around thinking that if we push harder, take on more projects, make more flow charts and set more goals that it will give us the peace that we are craving. When we notice we are running on fumes, we are getting sick, when our list never seems to end, and our minds and spirits never seem to have a place to rest, then something mentally and physically needs to change. The balls are going to drop eventually. And guess what, you have a choice! You may think you don’t, and it may not be the easiest choice, but you do have a choice.

Have you ever noticed that some days time seems to tick by ever so slowly and some days the moment we wake up time is running by so fast we can’t catch up. And that both days you had the same amount of things to do? Weird huh.

Have you ever asked yourself what changed? Did the actual rotation of the earth slow down or speed up to make that day go faster or slower? 

What if, now stay with me here, what if it was actually just the way you handled that time? Not physically, but mentally and spiritually. Whhaaattt?  Pam, you must be loosing your ever lovin’ mind! 

How about trying this experiment? Choose two days this month on your schedule that have similar routines and amount of things to do in your day. 

Day 1 - The moment you wake up remind yourself that this is the day you are going to practice mindfulness and being in the present moment. Remind yourself that you are going to listen to your child, you are going to look into your lover’s eye, you are going to listen for the still small voice of God. Come up with a mantra for the day. A word or phrase you can come back to when things get crazy in your mind.

As you go through your day, when things get frustrating, come back to your mantra. Take a deep breath. Say to yourself, I am here now. Take your eyes off your computer or phone and look out the window and notice whats there. When you are feeling a time crunch, take a deep breath and say, "if this is the worst that happens all day I’m doing pretty good." Smile! 

Or better yet, start your day off with a Sacred Space Retreat at the Breathing Space Daily Retreat Center. Yes, this would change you routine, but perhaps it will give you the experience you need to go through the rest of your day in a mindful, peaceful way. 

At the end of the day, jot down a few notes about your day. Did it seem to rush by in normal crazy fashion? What emotions did you feel throughout the day? Did you remember driving from point A to point B? What was your experience with God, yourself and others?

Day 2 - Go throughout your day as you historically would with your awareness on the tasks, the schedules, the projects and deadlines. 

Again, at the end of the day, jot down a few notes about your day. Did it seem to rush by in normal crazy fashion? What emotions did you feel throughout the day? Did you remember driving from point A to point B? What was your experience with God, yourself and others?

Now compare the 2 days, what if anything was different about the time? What was different about how thought about your tasks, and the people you interacted with? What was your experience with God?

This month (November) I am dubbing mindfulness month. Post your comments below about what helps you practice mindfulness, or the challenges you have with being mindful.

Till next time…