Monday, 12 August 2013

Mindless = Mindful

Wilbur meditating
I was listening to Clare Balding yesterday on her Radio 2 breakfast show, Good Morning Sunday. She was discussing mindfulness with baptist minister and christian mindfulness practitioner, Shaun Lambert. Having read several books on the topic, I have tried to meditate, and still try to fit in some meditation practise when I can. The usual excuses arise for why I can't find the time - too busy and that I find it very difficult to sit still! However, when I have managed to practise mindfulness, I have reaped the benefits. So, my ears pricked up when Clare described how a retired professional swimmer she had met had come back into swimming because he had missed the passive thinking time during training - and the heightened awareness he'd had during those sessions of his body moving through the water and the sound of the water. This struck a chord with me because I realised how the daily task of mucking out Wilbur's stable offered me the same opportunity, not forgetting the regular task of poo-picking his field. They are both activities that don't require too much brain power, so I can focus on the task whilst concentrating on my breathing and being aware of how my body is feeling. Not only that, but I'm in the fresh air and don't have to sit still to do it. Who would have thought that these everyday tasks could offer such benefits? So, next time you're digging in the garden or mucking out your pony, remember this and, as the saying goes, 'step out of your thinking and come to your senses'!