Welcome to week two of the Mindfulness Monday series! Last week’s practice got me thinking about the history of my food. It meant pausing before eating, and, ultimately, it turned into a short prayer of gratitude before eating. Once I stopped to think about the grocery story employees, the food service workers, the farmers, the soil, bugs, and sunlight, I couldn’t not feel so deeply thankful for the work that went into my nourishment. The practice led me to learn about the sustainability practices and packaging of Tempt hemp tofu; it got me to research the growing process of kale; it inspired me to watch this video on how to grow and harvest turmeric root; and, when I didn’t have time to consult the internet before eating, it just encouraged a lot of reflection on the magnitude of the work that goes into things we take for granted. I definitely plan to keep up with this pre-meal mindfulness practice. <3
This week’s exercise comes from a lovely and replenishing conversation I had with my dear friend, Binya. Binya has been a friend, mentor, and deeply empathetic soul-sister to me for the past few years, and although we rarely get to see each other in person, our bond is strong. As we talked about life and love and loss and beauty and despair, she shared with me a practice she’s recently been engaging in. A few times a day she will closer her eyes and put her hand over her heart and say, “This is your life. This is it.”
That’s it. It sounds simple, but I assure you, it has been profound for me (and Binya said the same). The act of noting that your life is right now, this moment, truly encourages you to appreciate what you have going on right now. Even if it’s not awesome, it’s all there is, and so you might as well be in it, you know?
This has been especially helpful for me lately considering that there are some major things going on in my life right now that I wish were…different. It’s really easy to get stuck in a negative headspace that makes me feel like I can’t be happy until those things are figured out. But that kind of thinking assumes that happiness and contentment are a result of external factors, rather than internal peace. Fortunately, as various faith traditions, bumper stickers, and pinterest boards will remind us: peace with difficult situations comes from within. Life isn’t going to wait for you to get your shit together, life is now. It’s not just point A’s and point B’s, it’s everything in the middle. This is your life. This is it.
I invite you to use this week to engage in this practice. Pick something that you do or see a few times a day to coordinate it with. Maybe you can do it every time you see the color blue, or every time you hear someone say your name. Or maybe you can set an alarm on your phone once every few hours. And then, in that moment, place your hand over your heart, close your eyes —(the physical elements of this are important)— and say (silently or aloud): “This is your life. This is it.”
And then….wait for the shift. <3
How did last week’s exercise go for you? Will you join me in this week’s practice?