Mindfulness – from Paris with Love

Live in the moment. We have heard this advice many times in our life. Yet we choose to focus on the future and past. Why is it so hard to live in the moment? I mean really LIVE in the moment.

We were in a museum in Paris in June, housing wonderful artists like Monet and Renoir. Beautiful scenes with breaktaking colours. I was pondering how it must have been like to sit and paint water lilies. The calm and peace and content it must have brought the artists.

My thoughts were interrupted by the throngs of people shuffling from painting to painting. Each person snapping a shot of a painting before hurriedly scurrying to the next painting. And this continued as the herd photographed each photo through a cell phone camera lens. Then onto the next floor. Perhaps to enjoy later.

We are so busy documenting our lives that we often forget to live them…to savour them…to enjoy the moment. Surely cataloguing the paintings for a future facebook or Instagram post cannot bring to you the same peace the artists must have envisioned when they set their eyes on the wondrous scenes they so beautifully transformed onto their canvas . Can it provide you the same happiness that one should get when they look at the vibrant colours of Van Gogh’s sunflowers?

Are we happy? Or are we so busy posting the life we want others to think we live. The life and illusion we so desperately want yet do not have. We stare at the still pictorial lives of our family members, our friends, our workmates. Each one of them posting hastily not realizing that another day has passed. Another day of not living and just posting. Surely there must be an end to this. It’s exhausting living an inauthentic life. It drains every authentic cell of our bodies to live in this constant drama. To not breathe when you photograph yourself. We wouldn’t want anyone to see our tummies in a selfie. Hold your breath…hold your breath….snap that shot.

Now breathe. Life is about breathing and not about holding your breath.

3 things to do today to start your journey to mindfulness. Living in the moment.

1. Make a schedule when you can use your phone. We have trained ourselves to be wholly dependent on our cell phones. We need to retrain ourselves to become independent again. Limit cell phone use to 20 minutes a day. Or less if possible. Pick a time each day to return emails. And then put the cell phone away.

2. Make 5 minutes for self at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. Greet each morning with appreciation. Focus on your breathing and think of the positive day ahead of you. At the end of the day close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Relax your body and mind. It’s only 10 minutes a day out of a whole 24 hours. You can do it!

3. Take a walk. No photos. No phone. Walk through your neighborhood, a park and look at your surroundings. Really look. Notice colours. Breathe deeply. Listen to the hum of different sounds. Feel the air around you.

Live in the moment. That’s your homework.

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