Have you ever jumped online and had a bad reaction?
Whether it’s clicking on a link that ended up wasting 30 minutes of my day…signing up for eCourses that I didn’t complete…or buying books and music that weren’t my taste because someone I was following said “they rocked!”
It’s so easy to be swept up in what “everyone else is doing”.
The instantaneous buy this, read that and follow this person because everyone else is can be mesmerising.
And it’s this hypnotic trance that can lead to feelings of:
- Exhaustion – mental, physical, spiritual and emotional fatigue
- “I’m not good enough, smart enough, enough…”
- “If I don’t buy this, consume this, read this, learn this I will be a loser who will never ever make it…”
I love the freedom of owning an online business – the connections, conversations, friendships and information sharing makes my heart sing.
But there are days when I quietly “step away from the keyboard”, turn off email, put on some “peace, love and yoga vibe” music and light my favourite candle.
This is my version of mindfulness of having soul soothing practices I can gently insert into my day – to support me, make me feel lighter in spirit while being more grounded.
A few years ago I was formally introduced to mindfulness techniques through eating a raisin.
Yup, I was just as surprised as you!
I thought I knew about being present, staying with the breath and drawing my attention back to the now, from my 20+ years of yoga practice.
So when the therapist quietly asked permission to go through an exercise using a raisin, my curiosity ramped up to 11!
She came back in the room with a fresh box of raisins and offered me one – just ONE raisin.
(I was thinking, “hey lady, I’m a bit hungry over here…I had to rush to this appointment before I could get lunch, and I am paying you $150 for this session…WTF one raisin only?!)
And this is what we did…
- Hold and look at the raisin in your palm: I looked at it closely, noticed the wrinkly ridges, the colour, the way one end of it was shaped differently to the other. She told me to look at it like I’d never seen a raisin before…as if this was a new food to me. To hold a sense of wonder and awe with this one raisin.
- Touch, hear and smell: I then rolled the raisin between my fingers, holding it up to my ear as I gently squashed it. Then I smelt it as if it was a new smell…taking it in as I would take a deep breath of air at the ocean.
- Tasting then swallowing: rather than popping the entire raisin into my mouth (by this time I was pretty hungry!) I had to nibble a small piece off without swallowing it at first. Instead of “just swallowing the raisin” I had to observe when I wanted to and to watch how this made me feel.
- Notice: I had to notice how my stomach felt as the raisin moved into it (apart from starving!)
After I finally ate the whole ONE raisin, I noticed it had taken me nearly 5 minutes…*mental note: maybe this could be a new diet idea, eat very very slowly so you end up falling asleep and forget that you’re still hungry…
And this is what I learned from eating ONE raisin…
- That mindfulness, staying present, knowing how I want to feel and checking in with how I do feel can soften the mind and open the heart.
- That mindfulness doesn’t require a set of crystals or the ability to sit cross legged on a mat for hours.
- That mindfulness can be practiced without having to sign up for courses, read books, or get coaching.
- That mindfulness is essential to stay balanced, centred and calm.
So here’s my definition of mindfulness…
So how can you take this “raisin eating lesson” back to the online world?
Next time you notice a link to a new eBook, course or a networking meeting and you click through…cultivate mindfulness.
- How your heart feels as you read – jumpy and scared, calm and grounded?
- What your breath is doing – is it fast and shallow, deep and slow?
- How your shoulders, upper back and neck are feeling – tight and sore, relaxed and supple?
You will quickly work out what’s going to help and support you in moving towards your intentions and what won’t!
Let me know how you go below…