Rituals to Invite Balance and Well-being

By changing the way you do routine things
you allow a new person to grow inside of you.

~Paulo Coelho

This site is a compilation of rituals and stories from many different people around the world. Each post is a different person's response to an invitation to share their rituals for healthy living, activities or behaviors they do regularly for the purpose of bringing value to their well-being. Perhaps there is a ritual in these pages that will catch your attention and find its way into your own life. To help keep this site alive, comment on what you read, share your story if you try one of the rituals, and submit new rituals.

Welcome and Enjoy!

9.01.2009

10 Steps to Mindfulness

This article by Leo Babauta originally appeared at ThirdAge.

"Smile, breathe and go slowly." - Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk

The idea of being mindful - being present, being more conscious of life as it happens - may seem contradictory to those who are used to sacrificing living for pursuing their goals ... but cultivating mindfulness will help you achieve your goals and enjoy life more.

Focusing on one task at a time, putting yourself fully into that task, is much more effective than multi-tasking. Focusing on one real goal at a time is also more effective. Focusing on what you're doing right now is highly effective. You're more productive when you're mindful.

But more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the only way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you're doing more. Anything. Even things you might think are drudgery or boring, such as housework, can be amazing if you are truly present. Try it - wash dishes or sweep or cook, and remain fully present. It takes practice, but it's incredible.

Life in the Present: A 10-Step Approach

1. Do one thing at a time. Single-task, don't multi-task. When you're pouring water, just pour water. When you're eating, just eat. When you're bathing, just bathe. Don't try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing or driving. Zen proverb: "When walking, walk. When eating, eat."

2. Do it slowly and deliberately. You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.

3. Do less. If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do. But you're busy and you can't possibly do less, right? You can. I've done it, and so have many busy people. It's a matter of figuring out what's important, and letting go of what's not.

4. Put space between things. Related to the "Do less" rule, but it's a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don't schedule things close together - instead, leave room between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned.

5. Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing. Just sit in silence. Become aware of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Notice the world around you. Become comfortable with the silence and stillness. It'll do you a world of good - and just takes 5 minutes!

6. Stop worrying about the future - focus on the present. Become more aware of your thinking - are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to recognize when you're doing this, and then practice bringing yourself back to the present. Just focus on what you're doing, right now. Enjoy the present moment.

7. When you're talking to someone, be present. How many of us have spent time with someone but have been thinking about what we need to do in the future? Or thinking about what we want to say next, instead of really listening to that person? Instead, focus on being present, on really listening, on really enjoying your time with that person.

8. Eat slowly and savor your food. Food can be crammed down our throats in a rush, but where's the joy in that? Savor each bite, slowly, and really get the most out of your food. Interestingly, you'll eat less this way, and digest your food better as well.

9. Live slowly and savor your life. Just as you would savor your food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way - slow down and savor each and every moment. As I type this, for example, I have my 3-year-old daughter, Noelle, on my lap. She's just sitting here quietly, as the rain pours down in a hush outside. What a lovely moment. In fact, I'm going to take a few minutes off just to be with her now. Be right back. :)

10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation. Cooking and cleaning are often seen as drudgery, but actually they are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you with a cleaner house).

Keep practicing. When you get frustrated, just take a deep breath. When you ask yourself, "What should I do now, Self?" The answer is, "keep practicing."

"When you drive around the city and come to a red light or a stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty seconds to relax - to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the present moment. There are many things like that we can do." - Thich Nhat Hanh


Original article
Photo by patries71

12 comments:

123 123 said...

Cool story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about this topic.
By the way look at the design I've made myself Female escorts

Dr. Mark said...

I am a big fan of Thich Nhat Hanh. It is amazing how much more of a connection you have with someone you are talking to when you follow his advice. Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Great opinion you got here.
It would be intresting to read something more concerning this topic.
Thanks for inform that information.
With best regards Lora!
Kiev escort

Alfred Whittman said...

Slow moving makes you see a lot of what’s happening around you. And it also makes you think clearly that makes all your tasks well done. Savoring every moment can’t be done if you’re always into rush. It’s like this, you would not recognize everyone if you will only take a glimpse.

Melissa Wright said...

Well, now I know how to help make my daily chores into something slightly more enjoyable. This is all amazing advice.

Neil Butterfield said...

very good advice here, if we adopt these suggestions it is highly probable that even more will be achieved. Thanks so much for sharing.

Wade | Freelance Writer said...

Good advice and it all boils down to being in control at all times. Following this advice will help people to be in control.

Damien Sayer said...

Hi! My name is Damien Sayer. I’ve greatly enjoyed looking through your health website. I have a website on a related subject and I think it might be of interest to your readers. I just wanted to connect and ask help in building up momentum on my blog and maybe a bit down the line. If you've got 5 minutes for an interview or if you would like some content written for your site please let me know.

Sincerely,
Damien Sayer
Founder
www.DamienOnWellbeing.com
Damien@DamienOnWellbeing.com

escrowit.com said...

Wonderful tips!

Dorothy said...

Dorothy of Oz is sure to be an instant classic for the whole family. The film is due out next year but the buzz being created is undeniable. Between the vastly talented cast and the original music, how could you not be excited! Glee's Lea Michele is in the title role as Dorothy Gale and she will bring such a fresh sound to the legendary character. Let us not forget Martin Short, Bernadette Peters, Kelsey Grammer, Dan Aykroyd, and many more bringing life to both new and older familiar characters!! Dorothy of Oz has all the components to be the new family favorite!

Ryann Parker said...

My daughters and me watch Glee and love Lea Michele's voice! Cant wait to see this on the big screen with my girls!

Easy Diet Plans said...

The film is due out next year but the buzz being created is undeniable. Between the vastly talented cast and the original music.