Mindfulness exercise: Lopez Island
'The past is gone, the future is not yet here. If we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.' - Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen teacher
I spent last weekend at Lopez Island on a Seaweed Adventure with perfect strangers. It was the highlight of my summer and ended up being an important source of renewal for me. I decided to use this weekend alone as an opportunity to practice mindfulness - specifically mindful sensing.
I am reading 10 Mindful Minutes by Goldie Hawn and was inspired to be extra productive with my weekend. My goal was to take time to 'really pay attention to the remarkable sensation of being alive, moment to moment, in our bodies.' I wanted to experience another dimension of joy - appreciating what is happening right now with a full heart. I often am distracted by my obligations to my family or work, or find myself worrying about something that might happen or stewing about a conversation that didn't go well. I am a problem solver and as I pay attention to my life more, I realize that the time I spend in my head noodling is preventing me from enjoying the everyday.
This weekend I wanted to see with new eyes and the art of paying attention really paid off! I found I had new energy and a simple joy that mimicked my daughter's bubbly optimism and open heart.
I challenged myself to pay attention to color and texture and here are some of the things I saw: