Like you, this morning I took a shower. However, I wasn’t really in the shower. My thoughts were already in the future, driving my son to school, pondering what I would make for dinner, and then organizing my day’s work schedule. Like many of us, I was nowhere near being present with the task at hand. I was already wrapping myself up in stress that held the potential to ripple out to everyone near me. By simply noticing my wandering thoughts and bringing my attention back to the shower, I began to feel the cleansing water’s soothing sensation on my skin and allowed the warmth of the water to relax my stiff muscles.
I became aware of the moist air, smelled the fresh mint scent of my shampoo as I massaged my scalp, and took in the aroma of my lavender body soap washing away the staleness of the previous day. When I brought my attention back to the present moment, my awareness of these simple pleasures was heightened. After my shower —when I’d truly stayed in the shower—I stepped out clean, refreshed, relaxed, and ready to greet the day.
Each of us holds the possibility
Trying anything new can feel strange and for many of us, incorporating the practice of “present moment” or mindfulness can feel foreign or overwhelming as an idea. This 3,000 year-old Zen practice —simple, yet not always easy — is one of my best tips for creating peace and calm in my life. An instant tool for relief from the that dizzily-spinning-around-in-a-revolving-door feeling of trying to do it all. Instead, this always available practice allows you to equip yourself with the insight to make your own choices and create your own reality. It gives you the opportunity to respond and not react from a grounded, primordial place that everyone of us has the ability to tap into. Why not start now?