Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Photos by Linda

Life can be busy – really busy. We’re constantly being bombarded by information and images and options. Often we hurry here, there and everywhere – even if it’s just in our minds. We get distracted by all the different noises in our lives. We get stuck in our heads with our work, relationships, and responsibilities – or in the past somewhere, or in an imagined future.

What we need more are ‘now moments’ – when we take time out from our busy lives to pause, breathe and notice things outside of ourselves – I mean really notice them.

Getting into the now is empowering. Now is where the power is! It promotes good feelings in us, of being present, aware, alive, at peace, curious, in awe and grateful. Having such feelings causes more of those feelings to manifest in our lives. It makes us more engaged with regular life – which is often where the magic is!

If we commit to some kind of practice that brings us into these ‘now moments’ more frequently, new habits start to form. We become prone to spontaneous ‘now moments’ during our day. We increasingly notice the smaller things which can add to the meaning of life. We see our environment and the things in it in new ways, expanding our perceptions and creativity.

For me, life has been hectic with work and domestic responsibilities, organising my book and website for publication, and being an attentive mum to my two boys, at ages when they’re involved in all kinds of activities and are dependent on me, and I’ve my aging parents on my mind, so I thought up a creative way for me to get back on track with being mindful every day, and I’ve called it: The Mindfulness Project.

I’ve made it a part of my daily routine to get in the present, like brushing my teeth is – no more excuses – and it’s really benefited me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I’d love to share it with you, so you can benefit from it too!

If you feel even a little bit frazzled by life, you’d benefit by going to the Spirit my way Instagram feed. There you’ll find photos from my Mindfulness Project. These are pictures I’ve taken with my phone camera of my ‘now moments’ from my day – at home, in the garden, shops, work and en route to or at my other activities.

You’re also encouraged to join in with ‘now moments’ from your day. This initiative makes the mundane in life look marvellous. It gets you seeing in new ways. It has you feeling more grounded.

Get with the program!

  • At the start of the week begin by selecting two times a day, like 9 am and 2 pm or 12 pm and 5 pm, or whatever two times suits you, and for the duration of that week bring your focus to those chosen times.
  • Write those two times on a sticky-note and put it somewhere you’ll see it each day, to prompt you.
  • At the allotted times pause to see what is before you, behind you, around you, in your immediate setting, no matter where you are. You don’t need to be anywhere special or beautiful. You may be somewhere ordinary like the kitchen, on a bus or in an elevator. In fact, ordinary things can look rather extraordinary when we pay them some real attention.
  • Don’t just glimpse a setting or environment or thing – really see it – and absorb it. Experience it with your eyes wide open. Do you see any interesting shapes, shadows, colours, lights or patterns? What do you notice? What attracts your attention first – go with that. Do you notice something about it that you’ve not noticed before: a crack, some dust, a line, a blur, a beauty, or is it the way the light falls and the effect it creates?
  • After you’ve observed something for a moment or a few moments, perhaps in an entirely new way, snap a photo of your ‘now moment’ with your phone camera. Get creative with the image and share it with us here at Spirit my way on Instagram by using #thepowerisnow
  • It doesn’t matter if you forget to get mindful at exactly the allotted times each day – thereabouts is good enough. Don’t stress. You may even prefer to get mindful only once a day, not twice. Do whatever suits you. It’s meant to be a purposeful yet enjoyable project. But try the best you can to stick to a schedule because then it will become a habit of yours to get mindful around a particular time each day.
  • The following week, select two new times to get present in and continue with the project in the same way.
  • In the third week, go back to the first two times you chose and continue with the project as you’ve been doing.
  • Alternate the two times and weeks according to this pattern.
  • After a couple of months, you’ll notice that you’ve become more mindful at 9 am, 12 pm, 2 pm and 5 pm every day.
  • With more months of practice, you’ll have grown your awareness for what is around you a good deal more – and not just at the allotted times.

Keep it up! Make it a part of your every day to get mindful. You’ll increasingly feel like you are in life, and not off on a mental tangent. We’ll inspire each other. The power is now, so we must get present in the now to claim it!

I look forward to seeing your contributions to #thepowerisnow. Each weekend I’ll post on Facebook the most popular ‘now moment’ from my week and there’ll be other fun things to share from the project too!

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I’d love to hear how you go with The Mindfulness Project and what benefits you gain from it, email or leave a comment below. Share this post with friends and you can have fun doing the project together!

Linda Cull is an artist, author, and founder of Wilara Press®. Her blog Spirit my way® covers spirituality, inspired creativity, and transformative experiences. Learn more