Our senses help us in becoming more mindful.
When we are seeing the bright colors of a leaf, hearing the sound of our child’s voice as she shares a story, smelling our coffee before we drink it, touching the breakfast dishes as we wash them, or tasting the juiciness of the berries in our cereal.
We are in this moment. We cannot smell or hear later on. We are doing it right now.
This gives us sensory clarity—he ability to track and explore our sensory experience in real time. One of the three skills of mindfulness.
Sometimes we have trouble differentiating our sensory experiences from the thoughts that accompany our experience.
You see our critical mind produces a steady stream of thoughts about what we are seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. And too often they aren’t positive.
We are judging, commenting, or fearing.
Instead of just letting these jabbering thoughts in our head run and run.
We can use our concentration power—the second mindfulness skill— to focus our attention on what we choose. We don’t have to let thoughts that don’t serve us consume us.
When we bring attention to these thoughts that come up. Be curious about them with equanimity, allowing them to come and go without push or pull. This creates space between what we think and how we react.
We can choose to react in a different way, choose kindness or calm.
Try it out. Focus on your senses and what you are experiencing. Enjoy being in the present moment and building this mindfulness muscle.
We can appreciate, create, perform, and enjoy more—when we are really present. Not lost in our thoughts. Just being here now.
Want to learn more about these techniques, check out my upcoming free mindfulness workshop November 1 at Heart Garden in Oak Park.