“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The present moment, it is ALL we have. Sometimes it seems odd to me how we can live our lives so easily in the past and the future, and struggle so much to live right here right now in the present.
Especially when most (if not all) of our worries, anxieties, and fears are attached to things we’ve experienced in the past, and things we imagine might happen in the future.
And yet, when we make an intention to develop a habit of “being present”…those struggles that are connected to the past and the future seem to melt away, the uncomfortable emotions and feelings that we experience become more tolerable, and sometimes even disappear entirely.
I want to share with you today a little exercise that you can use to develop a mindfulness practice. I teach this in The Love & Magic Salon, and participants in that course often tell me that they have experienced profound shifts because of this one exercise. This simple practice will automatically create a mindfulness habit as well as a grateful mindset, and both things will expand the experience of Love & Magic in your life greatly.
(And if you’re wondering about that picture of ice cream…I almost titled this blog post “How I’m using Ice Cream to Grow Spiritually”)
Okay, so here is the exercise, in a nutshell:
Each evening as you’re winding down, right before you fall asleep, think of 5 things you experienced earlier that day, things that you enjoyed and are grateful for – one attached to each of the 5 senses.
An example – for me yesterday I experienced the smell of freshly ground coffee (scent), I witnessed an incredible sunset (sight), I heard my favorite peeps laughing as we had a celebration dinner (hearing), I snuggled with my little doggie Yuki (touch), and I ate a scoop of Italian Cream Cake Ice cream (taste – OMG I think I might be addicted to this stuff!!!).
Isn’t that simple?! It takes like 2 minutes tops! AND…here is the cool thing. Once you develop of habit of doing this each night before sleeping, you’ll start “collecting” experiences during the day for that evening’s practice automatically, which means that you will be cultivating a higher level of awareness of your senses and consciously focusing on things that you are grateful for. You can also let this little exercise serve as a reminder to you to slow down a bit and enjoy those moments mindfully.
I hope you enjoy this simple little exercise and recognize just how powerful developing a mindfulness practice can be. Now…go get some ice cream, and start making some magic happen.
Love & Magic,
Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net