Do you ever feel disconnected from your life - like you're sleep walking through your day?
'Going through the motions' as they say, can feel lifeless and even pointless at times. The reason for this is mind-body detachment.
As I was making coffee this morning, I realised that my mind was nowhere near what I was actually doing. My hands were moving - I got the kettle boiled, poured it over the coffee grains in the press, took the cups from the cupboard, and put everything on the table, but my mind was still back in bed.
This happens during so many of our daily tasks and routines. We do them on autopilot simply because we're accustomed to the motions and don't have to think about them anymore. This is good in some ways, but not in others.
I know I've become 'fractured' from my daily life when I notice certain changes from within. Generally, I feel more discontented, no matter if I'm being productive or taking time to relax. When my to-do list has been checked off, I feel dissatisfied, and when I'm relaxing I feel guilty because I'm not doing something. Nothing seems to feel good.
I get frustrated and agitated more easily, and seem to lose the little patience I do have. I'm certainly more distracted - I go into a room for something, and forget what I'm there for, or I pick up my phone to send an email, and suddenly notice I've spent ten minutes on Instagram!
There's a significant difference between ritual and habit, and it has everything to do with intention.
From time to time, it's important to attune our intention and attention to the small tasks of daily life. Here's an example of how to connect intention to daily tasks:
- making coffee: intend to produce a yummy brew to wake me up and set the tone for the day.
- morning shower: intend to experience the hot water releasing muscle tension and to enjoy the sensory smell of the soap.
- drive to work: intend to focus on the road and surroundings; to see the flowers, the trees, the change of seasons.
- meeting with a friend: intend to offer my hug more openly and sincerely, and hold it a few minutes longer.
If we pause long enough to identify the intention of our daily habits or rituals, then we re-connect more deeply with the present, ourselves, and our lives. Through doing this, we discover there is purpose in the mundane and sacred in the everyday. We learn that it's possible to feel fulfilled by the little things.
I write about this in my soon-to-be-released memoir, "Stepping Stones". Here's a small excerpt:
We live in a very fast paced world. As a result, we need to consciously create mindfulness in everyday life because we've lost some of the natural mindful moments that used to be present. When life was slower, there were fewer distractions and more time for mindfulness. These days, it's important to find time to simply be with yourself, even if it's when you're doing simple tasks such as washing the dishes. Don't think about what needs to be ready for the morning. Don't think about tomorrow's to-do-list. You can get back to that later, but just for a few short minutes, be with yourself in the present.
Focus on the dishes. Feel the movement of your hands, and the twitching of your fingers. Feel how the water flows between them. Feel the silkiness of the soap. Notice the way the light is coming through the window. Be still in the moment for the moment by witnessing your entire being in motion. Feel your heartbeat, and the way the air enters and leaves your body. Feel the temperature and tingle of your skin from the inside. This is how it feels to be real. This is connection to your 'self' and to the present. This is what it means to be mindful. Mindfulness doesn't mean you have to meditate for an hour every day. It can mean that, but it doesn't have to. It simply means being present in your life.
If you're like to know more about me, as well details on the release of "Stepping Stones" and the accompanying album of original songs that inspired the book, I invite you to join our AMMO Artworks community. You'll find the signup form as well as a list of membership benefits at www.ammoartworks.com. As a member, you get the inside track on everything, as well as member-only invitations and monthly giveaways.
Thanks for reading - and as always, I welcome your comments. I love receiving your messages.
Until next time - Create. Inspire. Transform.
~ Michelle ~