I experienced the strangest phenomenon. I was driving in my car on my way home from teaching a yoga class. My eyes were on the road, my hands on the wheel, my mind…someplace else. I happened to notice my house to my right and I had to suddenly stop and turn in to the drive. I almost missed it! I had no recollection of the drive from the gym back to my house! How had I gotten there? How many cars did I pass? Was there anyone break-checked behind me from my sudden change of direction? Where had I been?
I’ve been attempting to bring more mindfulness to each aspect of my life. Having faced the truth that my time here on earth is limited and I’m not getting any younger, I’ve noticed that I covet my “me time.” But, isn’t all the time I’m on this earth “me time”? I’m in my body, yet somehow, failing to be in my own mind. I’m not in anyone else’s mind. I’m just constantly looking forward to what’s next,. living in anticipation rather than being present for the people I love and for myself.
Mindfulness to me is the state of bringing awareness to what I’m doing while I’m doing it. When I cook dinner, I’m cooking dinner, not thinking about washing laundry, or cleaning the living room, or what will happen when the baby wakes up from his nap. When I’m with my son, I’m with my son. I’m not thinking about how messy the living room is, or what we’ll have for dinner, or wondering how he’s perpetually sticky (actually, I do often wonder that…) I’m just enjoying his littleness.
There is so much joy to be experienced in raising a child- watching my son learn how to be a functional human being is endlessly entertaining! Every day is a surprise party to him! He views the world with such wonderment and curiosity. He doesn’t fret over the future, or fume over the past. He lives his life moment by moment, contented and at peace…unless he’s hungry.
I so wish to emulate his child-like satisfaction with life. There is beauty in his innocence that is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. Seeing my husband derive the same joy from parenting and observing our little guy explore the world around him is such a blessing. THAT is mindfulness- being aware of the rich blessings that abound in my life from day to day without my having done anything to deserve them. And with that mindfulness comes a deep gratitude and peace. Even if my attention isn’t always focused on the Lord, seeing his mighty works displayed in creation and in the life of my tiny child, it truly makes my heart sing praise to the Lord God for his great faithfulness.
“Great is thy faithfulness, Oh God my Father; There is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not; Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be. Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!” – Thomas O. Chisholm