As I was saying in Friday’s introductory post, I’m trying to make a better effort to slow down and enjoy more little moments in my everyday life. It’s easy to enjoy and soak in moments during vacations, lazy weekends, or dinner dates with friends or loved ones, but sometimes its hard to appreciate the moments in between…like your daily commute, making dinner, getting ready in the morning, doing chores, or any of the other mundane tasks we do so frequently that we don’t really pay too much attention anymore.
While I was contemplating how to get started shifting my frame of mind to the present, I thought about how babies and dogs are the best examples of mindful thinking. Since I don’t have access to a baby, I’ll speak about my fur-baby examples.
Paul and I adopted a new puppy a month ago, and it has been such an amazing and sometimes tedious experience watching him learn new things everyday. EVERYTHING he does is with excitement and joy. Every item he comes across is a toy and he just can’t help but get into mischief. Sometimes this is frustrating, especially when he decides to go swimming in the water bowl or we need to stop whatever we are doing to replace his newly discovered inappropriate toys (a shoe, a dish towel, the cat, a pillow…) with something that is puppy approved, not once but every couple of minutes. Yet, it’s also incredible because I realize that he won’t be like this forever, or even much longer.
Soon, the noise the piano makes won’t phase him, and we won’t get to see the cute tilting of his head from right to left as he tries to make sense of this curious sound. I won’t need to comfort him when a noisy school bus stops during our walk. He’ll be well trained enough that every single bird, bush, leaf, stick, rock, etc… won’t be THE BEST THING he’s ever seen during his walk! haha Soon he’ll be a confident, well behaved, little guy with a goofball personality – we know that isn’t going away – but they’ll be less little things for him to learn and be amazed by.
The great thing about dogs, is that they are masters of being in the present moment.
He’ll still always get excited for a walk, a treat, a toy, a belly rub, car ride, visitor, and so many other things that people would (and do) take for granted.
Being mindful, to me, is focusing more on the little, and big, things I do everyday that I had to learn once, and that for a time were exciting and new. I might not be as enthusiastic about them anymore, but I want to notice them and find the simple joys that can still exist.
This weekend, I started shifting my focus to the present one small moment at a time. I looked for pleasant moments during errands or chores, and as often as I would remember to, I tried to make a point of noticing the sounds, sights, and smells around me. I listened harder and observed more details. I think I smiled more, too.