Take a mini mindfulness break
Recently I was walking along the Manly beach promenade, rushing after a busy day, my mind racing, my body tense. In all that haste, I had the thought to stop and take a mini mindfulness break.
I had barely noticed the beach and the ocean before me as I sat on the sea wall. I began by taking 3 slow, deep breaths, feeling my tense muscles loosen and my racing mind start to settle. I focused on listening and the feeling of the hard, cold stone wall beneath me while remaining aware of my breathing.
I looked out across the beach now taking in the detail of what I was seeing, the deep blue of the ocean, the open vastness of the blue sky and the shadows on the sand.
I was curious and interested in what was happening moment to moment. Thoughts came and went, no thought a problem or important, letting thoughts go as effortlessly as they came, returning to awareness of my breath or sensations in my body, just being present.
It was during this process that the shadows on the sand revealed what had been there all along but in my haste, I had not yet seen. The shadows were not just random forms on the sand but had formed into, something Manly is well known for, the silhouette of a majestic Norfolk Island pine!
So, consider taking a mini mindfulness break in your day, here are the steps;
Stop what you are doing and just be for a few minutes
Take 3 deep slow breaths to settle the mind and body into the present moment
Be open and curious to what you are feeling, seeing, hearing, moment to moment, and if thoughts intrude, notice this and gently return your attention to the next breath, feeling the sensations of breathing or hearing sounds and bring yourself back to the present (repeat as needed throughout the exercise).