Every day there are five things you should simply do without question. If you do, you will eventually get where you're going....or at least be happier with where you are.
1. Wake up. Seems simply enough, but yet, we don't always wake up in the morning as we should. We get out of bed, stumble to the kitchen, make some breakfast or a smoothy or some such thing. We shower and/or dress and start the day. But do we really wake up? Waking up means taking few moments to open your eyes and your ears to the day. Is it sunny? Is it raining? How do you feel? What is your body telling you that you need? How about your soul? How about your heart? Stop, look and listen. Wake up and become alert to everything that is around you.
2. Set your intention. This is not really a "to-do" list, but rather the creation of your intention for the day. What do you want to experience? What is one thing you might want to learn about? These can be big or small things. The small things can take a minute or two like looking up the definition of "intention" on Google or it could be a step in a large project such as writing that book you've been talking about for years. A few pages go a long way toward any novel.
3. Eat. Not just anything, though. Eat something that you find pleases your five senses, all five: taste, smell, touch, sight and even touch. Examine an avacado. Smell it as you peel it. Feel its soft, mushy flesh. Note the rough skin, the dark green color and the contrasting green of the inner fruit. Let it rest on your tongue a moment and then feel it slide down your throat into your stomach. Do this we some food every day, something new and different as you can. You'll see food in an entirely different way.
4. Close your eyes. Every now and then as the day goes through its busy twists and turns or lazy lay-abouts, take a moment to shut everything out and pay attention to what's going through your mind at that very instant. Do this especially when you are feeling sad, or lonely, or stressed. Breathe deep. It helps and brings you back to your center.
5. Say thank you. Always. To everyone. And to whoever or whatever your Higher Power is. Even if you don't have one that you recognize, give thanks for being and by all means thank yourself for who you are and how you've been able to survive this long. And be thankful for being alive. It is not a given. Every morning, every evening, thanks be for life.
All of these are part of being mindful, of being intentional. Every choice we make leads us to where we will be in the next moment. Choose wisely. And
Just now, I was sitting at my dining room table, feeling blocked about writing, when suddenly there was a flurry of falling brown leaves from my sycamore tree in the front yard. It's the second day of August. Too soon for autumn leaves to tumble with at least two months of summer left. But it has been unusually hot, extremely humid...not "typical" southern California weather, but all the same, something we here is SoCal know will come in summer as a monsoonal flow passes through. And leaves do fall in August.
Then suddenly there was an urgent alarm signal from the radio, It was from the National Weather Service. A woman's flatly affected voice said: FLASH FLOOD WARNING! Portions of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties...etc. Sudden downpours! Warning! Then as I took in the reality of the notice, another shower of leaves spreading from my yard to the yards across the street, a wind carrying them along.
As I watched the leaves fall in awe, with wonder, it struck me that even though it seems pre-mature, their time had come. Mid-summer, the prime of summer, the leaves died and drifted down to the ground. And the feel of an approaching storm filled the air.
It was a sign. You never know when your time will come. Don't put off until tommorrow...etc. Get off the stick or out of the tree. Frankly, I'm not ready to tumble down. This afternoon I am going into the storm, where the floods may flash and there are probably no leaves to tumble: the Salton Sea. I am going with two experienced friends to capture images with my camera.
But before taking of, in light of this not-too subtle sign, I opened my blog, and began to write again. Sometimes that is all it takes.