Last week I surprised myself. I found myself doing quite a boring job which didn’t require a lot of brain power. Now normally I would sit there and fidget, make many cups of tea or just generally be annoyed that I had to do the job in the first place. But I actually had a really good day! I came out of my task relaxed, content and connected.
I bet there’s a few people that would love to know the secret of dealing with boring jobs, but it’s not a secret at all. I was engaging in my own spiritual practice by practicing mindfulness. I was focusing on what I was doing rather than the thoughts that plague my mind constantly. Instead of thinking about what I should have for dinner, or that I keep forgetting to call so-and-so; I didn’t think at all. I concentrated on the way things felt in my hands, the sounds that I heard and most importantly my breathing. I was being present, and when you are present you find a place where you are just being yourself and nothing more. This is the feeling that I search for on a regular basis, but rarely achieve.
When I finished for the day it got me thinking that spiritual practice doesn’t have to be for just when you plan to do it. It can be done anytime, anywhere, and anyhow you feel appropriate. Quite often when I plan to sit down and meditate I make excuses not to do it or I find it hard to ‘get in the zone’. It always amuses me how hard I find it to sit down and do nothing! Now I realise that I can do it whenever it feels right, and that I can actually achieve the results I want while doing a task (moving meditation), rather than purposely sitting down.
Now when I talk about spiritual practice I’m not just talking about meditation, going to church, or dancing in the moonlight under a full moon. I’m talking about anything that makes you feel happy, relaxed, free from everyday troubles and connected with who you are. For you it might be exercising, reading a good book, or sitting outside and appreciating the beauty of the world that we live in.
Even though some of these practices may sound like leisure activities that you can’t fit in to you busy schedule it’s really important that you do find some time. Connecting with yourself through spiritual practice can provide huge benefits to your overall well being. It can:
-Keep your mind clear and fresh, ready for your next challenge
-Lower stress levels
-Give you the ability to view things in a different light, or see the bigger picture
-Help boost your mood
-Decrease the risk of self destructive behaviours
-Help people cope with illness and grief
-Give you a sense of purpose and meaning
and a myriad of other benefits!
Many of the things we do everyday can be enhanced with spiritual practice, whether it’s practicing mindfulness on a boring task, or listening to your favourite songs on the way to work. Find something that works for you, and I promise the more you do it the much better person you’ll be for it.
Love and light,