Mindful Awareness Practice
If you need more time — try slowing down
“Wash the dishes.” — Thích Nhất Hạnh,
The key to finding more time is using the time we have more effectively. Like the rest of us, you may feel you are constantly running from here to there; often not having enough time to even take care of yourself; constantly feeling tired and worn out. You get up in the morning for work, hurry to get ready, and rush to eat — there are probably many days that you feel exhausted even before you leave your house. You may have asked: How can I find time to eat healthy, nourish my mind, body and spirit, while taking care of everything else that is pulling at me?
One possible answer: Slow down.
Easier said than done?
Try this short ten-minute experiment.
Take five minutes when you are most busy and stop and sit quietly for five minutes. Watch the world rush around you while you sit and breathe deeply. Don’t spend time judging the world or yourself, just observe. Like you are watching a movie. After five minutes get back to what you where doing. But this time focus only on one task for the next five minutes. For example, if you were washing the dishes (btw, this is an excellent meditative task that you should master), just wash the dishes. Focus on each dish. Do not think about what you are planning to do next. Do not think about what you did in the past. Don’t judge. Just wash the dishes. This can be done with anything. Sweeping the floor, or at work while you fill out an expense report. If you’re like most people, by taking these ten minutes you’ll find that you actually gain more time. Strange, but true.
That’s it. Try doing that every day, for just ten minutes to start and then expand the experiment to include more time and more activities. There are some other experiments that I’ll highlight later, but for now this is a good place to start.
Wishing you wellbeing and awareness.
(Tim Carl, PhD, is a long-term advocate and practitioner of meditation and mindfulness practice. He has studied science at Harvard, has been a business consultant at McKinsey & Co., and co-founded Knights Bridge Winery. Presently he lives and writes in Calistoga with his wife, dog and cat. His two children have left the house and are pursuing their own paths. He can be followed @tim_carl on Twitter or emailed directly at firstname.lastname@example.org)