On The Pursuit Of Mindfulness
Start writing a post

A friend of mine recently expressed her desire to be more aware of the present. She was so caught up in planning for her future that she forgot to stop and appreciate all of the things she had already accomplished. That’s not to say planning is unimportant. It is absolutely critical for success, but a level of awareness for what you already have will strengthen planning.

I work in a tall building downtown. I drive there every morning with the thousands of other commuters who leave their cozy suburban homes for the glamour of city life. I sit in my cubicle and do my work. I refill my coffee cup in a repeated mindless habit.

At noon, I walk three blocks to the library. This has become my favorite part of the day. See, next to the library is the reading garden. Like a tree that grows in Brooklyn, the space is a little piece of tranquility in the concrete jungle. Every day I sit in this small paradise. I eat my lunch. I read my book. I watch the people around me.

I watch the mother who rolls a stroller up next to the fountain where she unpacks a picnic for her and her child. I watch the businessmen sit in pairs, ties loosened as they eat the brown bag lunches that their wives packed for them. I watch the twenty something girl sitting with her nose in a book, not remotely distracted by the activity around her.

These people are happy, very simply happy. The mother smiles at her child as if the sun shines out of his face. The men laugh at something completely unrelated to the office. The reader sits with eyes wide as she absorbs an adventure dreamed up by some little known author.

Practicing mindfulness begins with taking the time out of your day to just sit and observe. Some of the world’s most successful people claim that their path to success began with mindfulness. Many of them swear by the power of meditation. We don’t all possess the patience for meditation but there are other ways to achieve a meditative state of mind. I personally gravitate towards music. One of my favorite summer songs is a Jack Johnson classic called Breakdown. He expresses concern for the speed at which we live our lives. We miss what goes on around us. We walk past opportunities for new friends, moments of happiness, and valuable life lessons. He sings:

I hope this old train breaks down

Then I could take a walk around, see what there is to see.

Time is just a melody with all the people in the street walking fast as their feet can take them. I just roll through town.

When I’m at school, I rush through everything. Rush to class. Rush to the gym. Rush to chapter. Rush to appointments and meetings. Granted I’m usually late, but once I arrive, I’m ready to rush on to the next thing. I sit impatiently with my phone in my hand checking emails and texts. Do you ever get so caught up in checking for texts that you forget that you never responded to one you received earlier? I do it all the time. Do you ever walk across campus and not actually look at your campus? I do. All the time.

Well this engine screams out loud, centipede gonna crawl westbound

So I don’t even make a sound, because it’s gonna sting me when I leave this town

and all the people in the street that I’ll never get to meet if these tracks don’t bend somehow.

And I got no time that I got to get to where I don’t need to be.

Americans seem to lack a certain level of social presence. We avoid eye contact and ignore people around us in line. Half the time we’re just too busy getting to where we don’t need to be, absorbed in our own day-to-day worries and routines. Heaven forbid we strike up a conversation with the people around us, perhaps learn something about their life and add a piece of their story to our own. Not everyone is chatty and that’s perfectly fine, but just looking up and offering a kind smile is better than hiding from human interaction.

You can’t stop nothing, if you got no control of the things in your mind that you kept,

And you know, you don’t know nothing that you don’t need to know.

The wisdom’s in the trees not the glass windows.

You can’t stop wishing, if you don’t let go of the things that you find and you lose

Often the solutions to our problems are perfectly simple. They sit directly in front of us waving their arms in an attempt to get our attention, but our perspective is skewed. We lack awareness of our surroundings, of our end goals, and of our own passions. We blindly press on hoping things will get better. We forget to reflect, therefore me fail to learn. Again, “you can’t stop nothing if you got not control of the things in your mind.”

If you want to be more mindful, here’s my advice. Think. Do yoga. Meditate. Talk to people. Share ideas. Be aware. Use your talents. You have the potential to do big things and be great. Your moment is now. Live in it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

7 Things Your Partner Can Do To Support You When You Have PCOS

Don't be afraid to ask for help or comfort if you need it.

2759

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may not be totally visible to the eye, which makes it a lot harder for your partner to understand what's going on with your body.

If you are in a relationship, it's important that you communicate your PCOS symptoms with your partner. I say "your" symptoms specifically because everyone's symptoms are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Watched 'The Social Dilemma' And YIKES, I'm Terrified For The Next Generation's Mental Health

Millennials can remember a time without online social affirmation, but we may be the last ones.

1605
The Social Dilemma / Netflix

I've been in a media job for the entirety of my professional career. From part-time social media internships to full-time editorial work, I've continued to learn how to tell stories, write catchy headlines, and keep people interested. I believe working in media is a big responsibility, as well as a valuable way to advance our world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

One Indictment, Three Charges, And No Justice For Breonna Taylor

We can't settle for this decision or a system that is fundamentally broken and unequal.

6054

On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were executing a "no-knock" warrant. Since then, there have been rallying efforts both in the streets and on social media demanding justice for Taylor and keeping her name known.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I’m OK With Hooking Up On The First Date, But That DOESN'T Make Me Easy

2020 has been a crazy year. And yet, women being comfortable with our bodies still seems to be a big topic in mass media.

143

I'm an adult. There is no reason I can't have consensual sex with someone on the first date. It does NOT make me easy, and it does not mean I'll have sex with just anyone the first time I meet them.

Keep Reading... Show less

I was so excited to vote in my local primary election in August. I eagerly researched my local candidates, combed the newspaper for profiles and policy positions, and shared infographics on Insta about voting deadlines. I considered myself a keen voter.

Keep Reading... Show less

Nothing! There is no reason to feel guilty about food and nourishing your body. It's time to make peace with food and stop focusing on the "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong" because food does not have power over you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down With An Endocrinologist To Ask All My Questions About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

There are so many moving parts of hormonal health, so I went to an expert.

4788
Anjanette Tan

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1 in 10 women. Any woman who has PCOS can attest to the fact that no two cases are the same — there are so many aspects of hormonal health that can impact a woman's reproductive health! For many, PCOS is a trial and error condition, with many doctors' appointments depending on the stage of life the woman is in.

This week I sat down with Dr. Anjanette Tan to get the expert opinion on all my PCOS questions. Dr. Tan is a board-certified endocrinologist who's worked in private practices since 2004. She currently works at the Diabetes and Thyroid Center of Fort Worth, one of the largest all-endocrine practices in the area, where she is the managing partner and head of clinical research.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

This $40 Silk Sleep Mask Gives Me The Best Sleep I've Ever Had — I Never Go Anywhere Without It

Crane And Canopy just redefined the meaning of "beauty sleep".

3590

- Since I can remember, I've always been a light sleeper, with the quietest sounds waking me up, and I regularly wake up with the sun.

- While talking to a gynecologist friend of mine, she mentioned the importance of using an eye mask for quality sleep, which regulates hormonal levels.

- I was serendipitously sent the Crane & Canopy Silk Sleep Mask almost right after that conversation and was honestly reluctant to try it after testing other sleep masks that felt uncomfortable and irritated my skin.

- This sleep mask was extremely comfortable, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I slept in far past when I usually do on the weekends and woke up feeling more refreshed than I can remember — I've worn it nearly every night since then.

The older I get, it seems that sleep becomes an increasingly important topic of conversation amongst my friends and me. Yes, of course we complain about how tired we always are, but the pattern seemed to be a lack of sleep on the weekdays followed by late nights and sleeping in on the weekends without any solution.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Self-Care Kit Every College Student Should Have Handy In 2020

Make sure you have everything you need to relieve some tension.

1892

As college students, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Four tests in a week and you only passed one of them? I feel that. Days like that, you just need time for yourself. A time where you're nice to yourself and put your own self-care before anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Smile Project Just Launched An Ambassador Program, And I Can't Wait To Get Started

Looking to shift your perspective, be happier, or just get involved in something truly amazing? Look no further.

1392

The Smile Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading happiness, founded by Elizabeth Buechele. It all started on a random day in the fall of her senior year. She was driving home from school when this thought crossed her mind: "Day 1: Happiness is…those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs."

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments