Is it time for the mind to have some R&R?

Now, I think this post should start with a warning. I’m not 100% sure it has a direction, a thought-out plan of exactly what I am attempting to communicate, muse or even present as a possible line of thought or conversation. It’s a random laura thought line I’m afraid. Oh, and I think the end might have the slipping of bad language (good job my mother doesn’t use the internet!) so sorry in advance for that!

It has been one of those months. There have been some awesome highs and some epic lows, and if I am honest the end is certainly not in sight. It seems life is coming out in full force with a great big superhero ‘pow the bloody wow’ with no clear path or direction.

The weather – we’ve had sun blistering heat, sleet and snow, overcast sweat-inducing heat and then blustering winds. It seems like the weather, and quite possibly like this blog, life at the moment, doesn’t, quite frankly, have a flipping clue what it is up to.

There is one common thought though that I am hoping pulls this together like the finishing touches on a pretty average cake. Life and living in this moment. In THE moment.

I was insanely lucky, when I had a grown up career, to work and pioneer a mindfulness campaign for a national charity. It was, without a doubt, a life changing experience. I’d certainly heard of meditation before this point but never mindfulness, which is semantics I guess, because one really is the other. Although there are many different forms of meditation in many different beautiful cultures.

But, please, don’t stop reading now. This won’t become a blog on mindfulness, or meditation for that matter. But maybe it will become something that leans on the principles of those two things.

When I sit and watch bea and boo play (mostly when it’s separate play and they are not attempting to dispatch one another to a different world), they are most certainly in the moment. There is no thought of ‘what shall I do next’, no ‘what should I be doing right now’, no ‘what is mum thinking’. They are totally and utterly engrossed in that moment, that action. It’s a beautiful thing really.

But actually, that beauty is a very simple thing. It’s a case of focus and being in that moment without the other ‘blur’ from life. I guess, therefore, actually experiencing life.

However I wonder, how often, as adults, we practice that? When outside, how often are we in that moment? Are we experiencing the sound of the birds, the smell of the dew, the feel of the air? Or are we thinking about the millions of things on the job list, the dinner that evening, the email that has annoyed us or the text we have yet to respond to?

I am sure to most of you this may sound a bit hippy, a bit ‘has she had too much wine’ kinda thought. But bear with. Here’s a challenge. Think about the last time you actually switched off the hamster wheel that is the mind and focused exactly on that moment, that feeling, that sensation. For those that know what I am talking about, and can say ‘yesterday at yoga’ or ‘today on the tube’ – you’ll pretty much be the nodding dog off the telly right now. Because you get it. For those who have got this far into the read and am starting to think I am totally bonkers (which, by the way I think I would admit to anyrate!) here’s an illustration…

The other day, bea and I skipped to school (Boo had already started his joyful nursery day). She wanted to skip. So we skipped. (NB. to adult forms I think I looked like a total loon but to my fab lady I was an Olympic skipper!). So our skipping continued, until she saw the newest of new blossom on a tree. She was in awe. In total awe of its beauty (it’s pink – I wasn’t surprised by her awe at that!) but then she said ‘Mummy, that blossom is falling with the wind and it looks like confetti against the blue sky’. She was right. It did. It was actually, if you took the time to look at it, beyond beautiful.

I try my hardest to be THERE with my kids. Not physically, but heartedly (insert made up word). I fail a lot of the time, mainly because it’s an insanely hard thing to do, but sometimes I do succeed, and when I do, when I let go of everything else and really be with them in that moment, it’s pretty damn great.

Mindfulness and meditation are very similar. I am no expert and have limited knowledge, but I do have quite a bit of rather rusty experience. The fundamentals are actually super simple from my learning. Be here, now.

It’s mind gym quite frankly, if you don’t exercise it and attempt to do it each day then you’ll just fall into the hamster wheel/chocolate pit fall.

So I guess I end where I began. There is no real theme to this months (late once again) blog, other than live life. Experience it, and be in it. Don’t over procrastinate, don’t let your mind rush and take you away from experiences because, at the end of the day, those experiences will never come back.

Without sounding too soppy - life is vulnerable and it’s fucking precious (please excuse the strong language!). And if we don’t stop, at least once a day, and appreciate and recognise that moment, well it’ll too soon be gone forever.