In “The Mindful Woman,” Sue Patton Thoele talks about the health and peace, and I add joy, that comes from “mindfulness” – being aware of the moment. When we let go of all that crowds our minds, and allow ourselves to totally focus on the conversation and the person to whom we are talking, amazing things happen. First, we will hear more, and have at least an inkling of the truth behind and within the conversation. We will be able to pick up on the silent messages of tone, facial expression, body language of the other. Second, we will have an awareness of our response to what is being said. Mindfulness enables us to value the encounter and deepens our respect for both ourselves and the other person.
This principle carries truth for us in all of our daily living. When cares, concerns, busyness, responsibilities, sadness totally fill our minds, we miss what is happening around us and our responses to life. When we ignore ourselves, we begin to stop valuing who we are.
Our unconscious mind tries to tell us what is happening. We say things like, “My life is killing me.” “I feel like I’m gradually disappearing.” Still we carry on. We believe we can’t get off this road to nothingness because our responsibilities won’t let us. We don’t have time. We can’t add another thing to our lives.
Mindfulness doesn’t require more time. It requires only an awareness of the time we already have. It begins with choices for moments of awareness. Tonight as I read my grandchild, Alex his bedtime story, I will choose to totally focus on him and the story for at least one moment. Each time a worry breaks into our precious time together, I will choose to turn my mind back to him, to see the curve of his cheek, to hear his laughter or just to hear him breathe. I will let myself feel my response of love and amazement at the wonder of him. My goal will be to have one moment of valuing him and my love for him as I read tonight. I will do this because I am grateful that God has blessed me with this beautiful grandson, and the two of us with the gift of life. Tiny intentional moments of mindfulness can change our lives.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”