Mindfulness – Getting in the Moment Like a Dog

Lilly and the Red Door

Mindfulness. I’m not too much into the new age guru stuff. But, there is a lot to be said for spending some time each day trying to focus exclusively on the here and now. In the moment. 

We try to take our dogs for a walk several times a week. Usually, we follow the same route in a four kilometre circuit around our suburb.  Same sights. Same houses. Even the same people doing the same things. It can get a bit ho-hum. 

For humans.  

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But, the dogs are not bored. They are just as excited every time we go! We could go three times a day and they would still be just as thrilled.  The smells and sights fill them with profound joy every time. They live life in the moment. I’ve never once had a dog roll its eyes and yawn if I suggest a walk. We can learn a lot from dogs. 

Try this:

Find a nice spot in the garden or beside a window in your house. Sit comfortably. Think about what is happening RIGHT NOW in front of you. Look closely.  What can you see? If there are trees or plants, how many shades of green can you pick out? What other colours? Are there insects or birds? Little lizards? What can you smell? What noises can you hear? How does it all make you feel?

What about the sky? Is it clear blue? Are there clouds?  What shapes can you see?

This can be really relaxing and refreshing. Do this for ten minutes – even 5 minutes – and you can come away feeling inspired and ready to power on with your day. 

And you can do this anywhere! If you are stuck in an office, just looking – looking intently – around at the walls, out a window, at the furniture, can bring you back to RIGHT NOW and give you a micro break from the ongoing stress of your normal day.

I did this exercise while washing up. I actually concentrated on the task at hand rather than doing it automatically while thinking about all the others stuff that I should be doing or should have already done. I noticed how shiny the knives and forks looked after I washed them. Glistening. I looked – I REALLY looked – at the patterns on the plates I was washing.

I noticed the way the sun beams through the window made tiny rainbows in the soap bubbles. Tiny, but still with all of the beautiful, awe inspiring colours that you would see in a majestic rainbow across a beautiful ocean. A rainbow in microcosm, but at the heart of it, just as awesome! 

The feel of the warm water on my hands.

Before I knew it, a boring thankless job was over and done with.

You can take pleasure in even the most mundane tasks if you practice being in the moment.

Brett Christensen
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