It’s weird, the word mindfulness. Mindfulness is a relaxation practice of focus but it’s opposite is multitasking and juggling several different thoughts at a time. In other words, the opposite of mindfulness and mind fullness.
I felt that mind fullness this morning. Planning out the day, thinking about the chores to do, the appointments to keep, all while walking and praying with my husband and our dogs. Where was my attention? Everywhere, interiorly, buzzing away a million miles an hour. My chest felt tight, my vision narrowed, my shoulders tense. Then I noticed and took a breath.
Slowly everything came back into focus. I noticed the sunlight streaming through the trees, the beauty of purple flowers this time of year, the green leaves and grass barely one month out of winter snow.
Then I lost it. The racetrack in my mind sped up again. But I noticed and I relaxed the muscles in my neck, jaw, and head and noticed how good that opening expanded feeling felt.
And I again noticed the little things. The interplay of the sun and shadows on the flowers and on the barn.
I still have a long ways to go and the path ahead of me isn’t always clear but my body now feels better focusing on the here and now and not like I’m trying to catch up with myself, breathlessly feeling one step behind.
We’ve heard we are a human “being” vs. a human “doing” and I think that is the difference between mindfulness and mind fullness. Mindfulness is being in the present moment. Mind fullness is the mental chatter of what we should be doing. I’m a planner and it’s hard to stay in the moment but if I really listen to my body, it prefers mindfulness. And practicing mindfulness, I do seem to still get done what needs to be completed, along with a lot more happiness too. Slowly but surely I’ll conquer mind fullness; I don’t mind getting older but I mind getting older and living with the regrets of missing out of the simple pleasures in life!