When I was asked by my friend what I ate today, my mind went blank for a minute without even being able to process that information. I went to the kitchen to look for it. There are days where I have forgotten if I had taken a bath or had my tea.
I had my meal one day and just after half an hour, I ate again forgetting that I ate already. This made me wonder what I am doing to myself pushing me towards observing my actions.
As a child when your parent feeds you – you just eat, when you want to play – you just play, when you were massaged – you just laid down and enjoyed it. This is how we developed different senses over time. I believe it is a beautiful feeling to be able to use your senses and experience every activity in your daily life.
Our generation has been doomed with a lot of distractors like social media which consumes us in different ways. Though we are aware of its implications, we always have a love-hate relationship with our social accounts. Even though I agree that social media is a powerful tool, it is up to every individual as to how they are going to use it.
Though these accounts help us to keep in touch with people/stay updated with certain topics, over time we could develop FOMO (Fear of missing out) which might lead to stress, anxiety, or disturbed sleep patterns.
Does that mean we need to quit social media accounts altogether? I don’t think that is going to help. Probably being aware of how long you spend your time every day might be of some help. But this does not address the main problem.
I wrote down a set of question to ask myself to understand the problem :
1. Do you brush your teeth focusing on every teeth to make it clean?
2. Do you take bath giving attention to every part of your body?
3. Do you enjoy your meal without any distractions like tv or phones?
4. Do you stop using your gadgets at least 1 hour before your bedtime?
Yes, I am talking about ‘Mindfulness‘. This word sounds so fancy and complex at the same time, though it simply means “to be aware“. Often mindfulness is misunderstood for being fully focused all the time. However, it is about being aware of your thoughts and actions (without trying to control or fight the mind).
Here was a small mindfulness experiment I tried with a goal of eating as slowly as possible:
Day 1: I got so restless that I ate my meal fast.
Day 2: I tried to slow down though I yearned to watch some content
Day 3: I scrolled my phone when I ate
Day 4: I tried to stare at my watch as I was eating eat
Day 5: I tried to eat as slowly as possible
This simple exercise gave me reassurance that being aware of what I do is possible, though it needs a constant effort to be present at the moment. This has also helped me to not plan so much for the future and enjoy the present moment. In the end, the choice is ours if we want to be “Mind full or Mindful“
Probably making time for some ‘childlike moments‘ in your daily life would be a giant leap towards mindfulness.
All of this feels like a mountain to climb, then I realize it is all about taking one step at a time surrendering yourself in this process, like a child.