– why you chose this topic
– how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic
– the emotions that you can associate with these visceral feelings
– the positive or negative impact of any stories you believe in regarding this topic
– the consoling/humbling/inspiring fact that many others are feeling similarly about this topic as you
– how you will feel with increased awareness around this topic
– when you can apply increased mindfulness to this topic in your day-to-day life
Mindfulness is available to us each and every day.We often fail to slow down and appreciate some of the most sensual, enjoyable experiences that fill our lives everyday. You might be thinking that your life isn’t always filled with such experiences, and that you have to seek them out. In other words, you’re forced to go out of your way in order to experience pleasure in your daily life: it doesn’t just present itself to you.
Consider, though, that there are many activities we engage in daily that offer us an opportunity for deep, sensory-heavy experience. The problem isn’t that our lives are objectively too routine for us to enjoy them each day: rather, the issue is that we rush through our experience, failing to slow down, live mindfully, and fully appreciate the present moment. If we simply slow down enough to give our full attention to our present activity, the activity itself becomes transformed, as though we’re experiencing it for the very first time.
Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the case of food. Most of us eat two or three meals per day, for starters. If you’re like most people, you also snack multiple times in between. But, pause for a moment and ask yourself: can you remember what you ate yesterday? Do you recall how it tasted? What was the texture like? Were you really paying attention? Were you eating mindfully?
In this mindfulness exercise, you’ll be asked to slow down and focus your full attention and awareness on eating an orange. You’ll focus on the orange’s texture, aroma, sound, temperature, and more. We take so much of our experience for granted: you’ll likely be quite amazed at the complexity of something that’s seemingly so simple at first glance.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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