Living Mindfully

25 Apr 2018 Living Mindfully

Do you remember waking up this morning? How it felt in that moment to put your feet on the floor? What your first thought was? What you first heard?

It’s unlikely you did. In fact, it’s unlikely you have noticed the texture of the surface you are sitting or standing on right now. Can you feel it? What do you also notice as you tune into that feeling? How does your whole body and mind feel when you are alert, attentive, present? 

Most of us wake up and go into autopilot. The things we need to do are happening, but we are unaware of how. We’re distracted. What we are feeling and experiencing from moment to moment goes largely unnoticed. I am certainly guilty of this. There are entire days I can’t account for, let alone know the texture of the floor under my feet when I first woke up…  It’s as though we lock into the world, performing the duties required of us but not really being conscious until these things become a memory. We may then be able to recall the events, but even then, they are filtered and warped by associations and assumptions. What does it really mean to live mindfully? To be fully present and wholly connected to the moment?

Image: Sristen Sturdivant

Last month I experienced my first ever Nyepi Day in Bali. For anyone who has experienced this day will be familiar with what happens. It’s called Silent Day and for 24 hours the entire island goes into lockdown. And when I say lockdown, I mean… You are quite literally not allowed to leave your house. Yep. No flights in or out of the country. No scooters, no cars, no noise (well… apart from the ducks, dogs and roosters). No lights, electricity or internet either. It’s a day of stillness and of reflection. For me, it was an incredible time to be with myself. To truly experience mindfulness. No distractions and no excuses. Being with yourself is not always easy to do. After all, even when I’m ‘with myself’ there’s a good chance my phone will alert me of my connection to the world. And hours can disappear scrolling on Instagram. 

Not on Nyepi day though. Instead, whole hours went by and I watched the squirrels run the length of the palm trees outside my balcony. Stared at tiny webs being built by spiders on my doorway. I listened to the chatter of birds and rolling in of thunder. Felt the sunshine on my face as I lay in my hammock. Created art for the sake of creating. Allowed myself to feel the rumblings of hunger in my belly and made the food I felt like eating… Noticed how it felt to be still. Stayed with the gnawing feeling of guilt as I simply allowed myself to BE for a whole day. And it was pure bliss. 

To live mindfully, is to TRULY connect. To feel the groundlessness of the now. To become aware of how we fit in this big crazy world. And it doesn’t just have to happen on Nyepi Day. We can adopt this same awareness whether we are lazing about in a hammock, or washing our hands at the sink, or typing up a blog post, or closing a deal. The point is, when we are truly HERE, that is, we are truly connected to each moment as it unfolds, we are bringing our WHOLE SELF to the experience. Not just our mind, or our body, or our spirit. But all of it. And it is only through this uniting of self, can we truly unite with Mother Earth. Mindfulness is not just a concept for meditators and yogis. It’s a state of awareness that can change the way in which we live and perhaps even the future of this beautiful planet we call home.   

Jane Holland - Bali Ambassador 

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If you have an iPhone you can help us test the Fair Food Forager app 2.0 its a beautiful looking app that allows you to create an account, share images and tag friends. Of course you can search beautiful healthy and sustainable food just like the original. Coming to Android in the next few weeks.

Cover image: Inge Maria

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