How Then Do We Live?

The invitation to live mindfully sounds great…and then sounds hard!!! How do we live mindfully? While weeding, while shopping, while doing the dishes? How do we invite a sense of the sacred into the everyday moments of our lives? Here are a few things I’ve found helpful, and I’d love to hear from you about what you find helpful.

WHEN I’M DRIVING: at red lights, I breathe deeply, close my eyes for a few seconds, and check in with where I am, what I am, who I am…and breathe out gratitude for all that I am.

WHEN I’M INSOMNIAC: I breathe deeply, count backwards in French from 100, and find at least five things I am truly grateful for, in the day that has passed.

WHEN I’M STUCK, in work, in play, in relationship: I try to remind myself that I am truly NOT stuck…that this is an opportunity for growth (a FOG, if you will)… and try to find the growth edge that terrifies me…and step off it. I have an image of standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon…and then stepping off…my foot sinks slightly as it adjusts to a new reality, and then I quite easily and calmly walk across the Grand Canyon…which I think is more than a mile wide! So STUCK becomes a new starting place, a place to reassess where I am, and where I want to go.

WHEN I’M IN A BORING MEETING: I really try to figure out how I can shift the energy, how I can contribute in a way that means I’m not bored, and perhaps some others aren’t bored. SO I might ask if we can all BOUNCE for three minutes, to stir up our blood and adrenalin, or can we SING a round that’s a bit tricky, so we have to concentrate on THAT, and not on whatever is on our agenda… and then, because I’m a bit of an agenda fanatic, I try to figure out how to help make the agenda dance, how to make all our contributions valid and helpful… and if not, I try to help make the meeting end as quickly as possible! :-}

Here’s a beautiful reminder from Hafiz, the Persian poet of the fourteenth century,…so I guess these concerns for living a mindful life have been around for awhile!!

Now is the time
Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God?
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
with veracity and love.
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
That this is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is Sacred.

Contributed by Carol MacKinnon, TCP Associate