Mindfulness training is about your life. It isn’t about the time you meditate on a cushion or chair. It is about learning to be awake for each moment of your life. So bringing your training into the moments in the day is a necessary requirement.
The good news is that you can bring your training into everyday moments without adding any more demands on your already too-packed schedule. I like to call these moments Purposeful Pauses. It isn’t just about stopping, it is about noticing what is here to be noticed when you stop. And it is about redirecting the attention when it takes off into the future or the past.
This is a continuation of the attention training you experience when you are practicing meditation on your cushion or chair. These Purposeful Pauses allow you to step off the daily treadmill and perhaps find some spaciousness in the day to make more conscious choices.
With each Purposeful Pause below, practice noticing when the attention drifts and redirect it back to where you are now.
1. Choose to start your day rather than letting the day start you—begin each day by noticing the sensations of the breath for a few breaths before jumping out of bed.
2. Use transitions wisely—choose some days to drive to and from work without the radio or phone. When you arrive at your destination, allow yourself a few moments to sit in the car, noticing the breath.
3. Nourish yourself—mindfully eat your lunch attending to the colors, taste, and smells of the food.
4. Just walk between meetings—no emails or texts—feeling the feet on the floor, the air on the skin, and the possibility of greeting colleagues you pass rather than bumping into them while you text!
5. Sit at your desk while your computer is turning on, noticing the sensations in the body as you sit.
Try one each day, what do you notice? What other Purposeful Pauses do you discover?