When my grandson, Anthony was born, we lived two blocks from Disneyland which seemed like the perfect reason to become season pass holders!
Disneyland was Anthony’s playground and I loved experiencing our time together through his eyes.
When he was about seven or eight years old, as we were planning yet another trip to Disneyland, I suggested we walk instead of drive.
I remember his astonishment as he asked, “Grammy, we can’t walk to Disneyland, it’s too far!”
I asked him how he thought he could walk all day long throughout Disneyland but couldn’t manage to walk just two blocks to get there!
He thought about it but didn’t have an answer so I asked him if he was up for a new adventure; walking to Disneyland instead of driving.
He got excited when he thought of it in terms of an adventure so we started walking.
During our walk, I would point out certain things to look at along the way and asked him if he’d ever noticed these things when we were in the car.
As he started to catch on to what he was experiencing, he’d say, “ Grammy, look at this. When did they put this here? What do you think this is? Can I touch this? Let’s get a stick and poke it to see what’s underneath!”
We talked about the adventure of our walk. He’d asked if it was dumb to walk because we could get there so much faster if we drove. I pointed out all the fun things he’d miss if we had driven and as young as he was, I could tell he understood that both driving and walking was a way to get from here to there but the adventure was about what happened along the way!
Anthony is a grown man with a daughter of his own now. I often think of those adventures with Anthony when I’m traveling from here to there. When I’m walking, I remind myself to be mindful of what’s in front of me and not to make the walk about going out and getting back but what I experience along the way!
Mindfulness is possible in the car as well; instead of always listening to music to pass the time, I ride in silence and notice what’s outside my window.
When I’m working at my desk, I make time to step away and be mindful of my body; what does it need? Food, stretching, water, a change of scenery?
We always have an opportunity to practice mindfulness but our self-talk often has a way of talking us out of it with thoughts like, “you have a deadline, you promised you’d do this today, people are counting on you, if you don’t finish, people will think you’re lazy and slacked off!”
Mindfulness is impossible when we’re more concerned what others will think of us than what we think of ourselves.
If this article has come into your awareness, I'd love to know how this message has inspired you to make time for mindfulness in your life!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei