Here we are half way through the month of March. Spring is definitely in the air. Last week we were asked to practice loving touch as part of our year of mindfulness. Doesn’t spring time seem like a perfect time to practice loving touch? New growth is pushing its gentle tendrils through the ground and tender buds are ready to burst forth on branches.
Think about how you approach these tender new shoots when you see them. Perhaps you gently cup them in your hands or tenderly touch them with your fingertips. Definitely an act of loving touch.
Were you able to use loving touch throughout your week? I must admit that I did not do very well with this practice. Other than using loving touch in the most common ways, I was not very present when it came to other situations, like putting away the dishes. Once in a while I caught myself. But more often than not presence was not with me last week. That’s okay, however. Mindfulness comes in steps.
This Week’s Practice: When Waiting, Practice Mindfulness
Okay, this could be another tough one. The basic premise of this week’s practice is to take those moments when you are waiting and use them for deep breathing, meditation, prayer, or some other act of mindfulness. So, instead of occupying your time with a distraction, such as texting, checking email, or getting annoyed, take this time to practice mindfulness.
This practice, like many of those we’ve already discussed, require that we return to the present moment. Waiting is one of those activities that makes many of us uncomfortable. We don’t like to wait. We don’t like to find ourselves in a situation where we could be “more productive.” Waiting implies stillness, slowing, or not moving. In our hurry-up and rush, rush society, waiting is considered a burden. When we are asked or “forced” to wait, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
With this practice, the phrase “hurry up and wait” may take on new meaning.
Reflection: There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting. – J.G. Holland
(And I couldn’t resist this one for the giggle: I took a course in speed waiting. Now I can wait an hour in only 10 minutes. -Steven Wright)