Mindfulness. It’s a practice, a reminder of the world around us. Phones ring, salesmen knock, work calls from every direction. Life sometimes feels like a constant, mindless activity. But I don’t think it is supposed to be that way. I think we are meant to stop, enjoy life and live, not only for ourselves, but for others, and for God.
It’s hard to find time to be still. And even when we do, it is even harder to quiet our minds. But if we don’t stop? What if we choose to live in a constant state of stress, what will happen? Turns out, plenty.
Stress brings on many problems, everything from the common cold to heart disease. www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx Stress is more than a feeling in our minds, it’s a factor wreaking havoc in our bodies.
In the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie,* Carnegie interviews people whose lives have been severely affected by stress. When stress was removed, diseases were often eliminated.
What can you do while living in a society that seems to promote stress? First, learn to breathe. Deep breathing has been shown to have many benefits, including lowering blood pressure and improving mood. Second, take time to be still. Listen to the world, and appreciate all you have. Third, there is plenty to read online. If you need a few ideas, I encourage you to check www.michelleacker.com. Michelle has some great tips for learning to be mindful, even in the midst of chaos.
It’s taken me a long time to learn how to be mindful. Yet, with all my practice, I still struggle. Some weeks I schedule it on my calendar, or tape a note to my computer-a quiet reminder to stop and listen to the world around me.
This is for you, for those whose lives are in constant motion, whose harried days never end. Stop, be still and listen, if only for a moment.
Be Still. Listen.
To your breath.
To the beat of your heart.
Listen to the world.
To the whisper of the trees,
And the dance of the hummingbird
On a red-laced rose.
Listen to the wind
That whispers your name,
That dances through the trees,
And stands among the weeds.
Listen to the frogs
And crickets sing,
And praying mantis plays its funky tune.
Listen to the children
That laugh and cry,
And scream at bubbles in the air.
To your heart.
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