Yay for my first post and of a topic that I have been living and breathing the past couple of weeks. If you're not aware, I'm in the midst of wedding planning. I get married on April 29th and Siri just informed that's 54 days away! Where did time go? This is really what I've been trying to figure out the last couple of weeks. It dawned on me on my last trip home, when I had my bridal shower. The day just flew by and probably even faster given all the mimosas I consumed. I grew a bit sad because I felt I hadn't soaked up every moment given to me. This was the only bridal shower I was going to have, and I spent the day a little inebriated. The day truly felt like a blur.
Putting my bridal shower aside, with a wedding comes so many exciting things! Marriage invites the idea of buying your first home, children, career planning, etc. Instead of focusing at the task at hand, I find myself looking up houses with 3 or more bedrooms with the potential income I hope to make after grad school. If you're at all familiar with the San Diego market, it's daunting. You pretty much need to be a millionaire to own a decent-sized house. From there, it's a downward spiral of me freaking out about if my career path will support the lifestyle I hope to have. Will my children live comfortably as I want them to? Will Kevin and I spend our lives stressing over money? And then I go back to today and I'm only planning our wedding. Today is all that really matters. Of course, you have to have somewhat of a plan for the future, but as we all know, life will guide us to where we need to be.
I only get to plan one wedding and as stressful as it's turning out to be, I just have to appreciate this moment in time for what it's worth. Life is simply beautiful right now. I'm planning an event to celebrate my love with my soulmate. There are a few practices I've been trying to take part of to truly become more mindful in life. I've listed them below:
1) Stop & utilize your senses
What do you see? Smell? Taste? Feel? Hear? Etc. It sounds dramatic, I know but it works. Give yourself a full-body scan and comprehend that moment. You'll never forget it and perhaps it is those very smells and sounds that you'll associate to that moment in the future.
An important part of yoga is your breath. A strong practice requires a focus on your inhales and exhales. Why? Because if you are truly focusing on this, you cannot think of anything other than what is happening NOW. You move with intention and control. It's simply a tool to connect your mind and body, and acts as a guiding force during the physical practice. Yoga was explained best in a video I watched the other day - "If you remain open to the broader offering of yoga as a lifestyle, you can begin to see that it shows up everywhere." As a teacher, I preach yoga as a way of life so the importance of breath off the mat is apparent. During times of stress, like traffic for instance, focusing on long, powerful breaths can calm you and draw you back to the present. Instead of racing to your destination, you can appreciate your journey.
3) Don't consume alcohol in excess
This applies to any mind-altering substance so drugs, natural or otherwise, are included. Especially for important occasions like birthdays, weddings, concerts, etc, consuming alcohol should be done with caution. I remember every detail of my proposal. Instead of going out and celebrating, pounding down shots, I had a few glasses of wine and I will never forget how happy both my fiance and I felt. There isn't anything wrong with getting a little tipsy but as more alcohol is consumed, the more inhibited we become. This interferes with the practice of mindfulness and certainly can dull an experience if you cannot fully feel it.
This doesn't have to involve you om'ing as most people imagine the practice of meditation. This could be as simple as sitting comfortably and taking two minutes to just focus on the present moment. Maybe pay attention to your breathing pattern, the smells in the room, or even take to a guided meditation on YouTube or a Podcast. I often use my time in Savasana to meditate and sometimes it's simply euphoric, I can't help but stay and extra couple minutes.
5) Plan Accordingly
I say this very lightly. Sometimes there are situations we simply cannot anticipate the future, but for the situations we can, like appointments or our daily routine before work or school, etc. Take this for example- when you're in a rush, you simply have no time to "stop and smell the roses" Everything around you is a blur and you zip through life during that time. So for as much as you can, give your self space and time to slow down. We live in a culture where if we're not doing things fast, we're being "unproductive," yet we're sick, stressed and tired all the time. Coincidence? I think not.
These are just a few that come to mind for me. Feel free to comment below with ways you keep mindful!