On Sunday I finally got around to making my herb and vegetable garden. I have been wanting to do this for about 6 weekends – I even bought some plants a few weeks ago – they all died because I didn’t actually plant them or water them. I left them in a bag on the outdoor table to fend for themselves. And they let me have children and a dog. Scary really! It doesn’t sound like my garden has much hope in all honesty.
We have a big yard, however I still wanted to put it all in pots on our verandah. I’m sure my family thinks I’m slightly crazy, but they humour me nonetheless.
On Sunday morning I spent a good 3 hours buying potting mix and plants, filling pots, planting plants and cleaning up. All the while I was totally engrossed in what I was doing. While I was planting I thought of nothing but what I was planting. When I was mixing up soils etc I was thinking of nothing but the soil and what pots I was going to use. When I finished I realized how therapeutic gardening really is. It kept me in the moment. It kept me there. I was present. I was being mindful. It felt really good.
Most of the time however, I am not being mindful. I am not fully concentrating on what I am doing at that moment. I am thinking about what else I have to do, what I’d rather be doing, how little time I have and it goes on and on. It’s a bit like thinking of the shopping list when one should be thinking of more pleasurable things when alone with husband or lover.
Huge example. Last night Mr 16 sat with us and watched Survivor. A very rare occurrence. What did we do? We both sat there on our laptops engrossed in whatever was happening on them. After about an hour Mr 16 said “do you guys spend every night on your laptops?”. We looked at him and each other and nodded. He said “it’s a bit antisocial. I made a few comments and tried to talk to you, but neither of you heard me. It wasn’t important so I didn’t interrupt you because you are working.” Holy crap – that really shocked me. I closed my laptop and told him he was right. Talking to each other was way more important that being on my laptop. Oh my, how much am I really missing out on?
I felt the biggest fail right there and then.
I went to bed thinking about how I rarely get to fully enjoy what I am doing at any particular moment. This is quite sad because I am sure I am missing some moments I should be cherishing or at the very least enjoying. Perhaps this is why life is speeding right past me. In fact I am sure this is the case. I’m not alone though, I think we are all guilty of not enjoying the present moment.
I’m glad for that fail last night, because all good fails should be reminders, wake up calls. That fail made me realise what is important. I can’t tell you enough just how important my boys are to me. In fact, I should always remember that “people are more important than things”. How easy it is to forget this at times.
I have tried many times in my life to practice mindfulness but all too often life gets in the way of this and takes my thoughts off on all kinds of tangents.
I found a great article on the Zen Habits blog and have provided a link to it here.
If you feel like being more mindful and enjoying more of your “present” have a read and let’s try the mindfulness challenge together.
Right here, right now I am going to try and be as mindful as possible with everything I am doing. It’s going to be hard – even now as I write this I am thinking that I really should be showering, making lunches, finalising a report … ENOUGH! Time to get started.
Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”
I’ll keep you updated on my mindfulness. Let me know how you go or how you practice mindfulness. I could do with the tips!
PS … If you are all wondering why I am going all new age and trying to slow down – it is coming out of necessity. I walked really close to the edge a few weeks ago and do not want to tumble over again. The edge is not a pretty place and I am backing away from it as fast as I can. Some day soon I’ll blog about it. Just not right now.