Last week, our mindfulness practice was to listen. Were you listening? Were you able to quiet the mind by listening? Were you able to hear the uniqueness in even the most annoying sound in your environment?
In our active society, which is full of a multitude of noises, slowing down to simply listen is indeed a challenge. How often do you pop in the ear buds to block out noise? How often do you sit in silence?
One of my favorite practices is listening when I take a walk. I absolutely cannot bring myself to wear ear buds when walking. I love hearing the sound of nature around me. When I walk, I feel the earth below me and I hear her songs all around me. I feel a greater connection to nature when I don’t block her out.
This Week’s Practice: Pause
This week’s practice once again reminds us to slow down. The intent of this practice is to take three breaths before answering the phone. To put some space between you and the phone.
Now, if you’re like me, taking three deep breaths would mean that the phone probably stops ringing and switches to the answering machine before the breaths are complete. (Yes, I can take three, long, deep breaths.) In that case, take at least one or two deep cleansing breaths before answering the phone.
After taking those breaths, what do you notice when you do answer the phone? How do you feel? What is different between doing this practice first versus simply answering the phone?
If your phone doesn’t ring very much (and that certainly is not a bad thing), you can also do this practice with a timer. Or, take one to three breaths before answering a question, especially if you’re dealing with a difficult person.
Create space. Don’t rush forward.
Reflection: Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours. -Swedish proverb