It’s easy to get caught up in the largeness of life. Despite the trend toward tiny houses and minute electronic devices, we continue to be overwhelmed by large things. The volume is loud, the colors are bright, and even our goals and dreams become overwhelming. We want things quickly and with as little discomfort as possible. While that fast track may be appealing, it fails to allow for the precious moments or subtleties of life that make it all worthwhile.
I was reminded of the subtleties during yoga with Tanna Kelley this weekend. With a lingering cold, busy holidays, and a hectic work schedule; it had been a long time since I was at a yoga class. My yoga at home had become goal-oriented. I had lost the subtleness in my practice. With someone guiding me, I was able to remember how to feel my breath in the different parts of my body, gently investigate minor aches and pains, and appreciate the luxuriousness of simply laying in relaxation pose.
The class inspired me to pay more attention to the everyday subtleties. I noticed the hazel color of my husband’s eyes, how my daughter’s hair changes colors, how my son’s voice sounds, and more. I watched the sun move from one part of the sky to the next in a matter of moments, listened to the hum of the heat kicking on, and enjoyed the warmth of my slippers. It wasn’t all joy. I also noticed my eyes were tired and saw the finer lines in my face. I let the judgement and story line pass and was grateful to be present. It became like focusing on the brush marks of a painting; noticing the details without getting lost in the overall picture.
These are the finer details in life that we tend to skip over in our urgency to get somewhere else or be someone else. Paying attention to the smaller brush strokes is a mindfulness practice which creates a pausing point. This week, see if you can notice the subtleties of life. Do so without judgment; just experience the finer details of each moment as a detail of the larger picture.
Mindful moments are short practices to be used throughout your week to relax, integrate and center yourself. Inspired by the wisdom traditions and science, mindful moments are meant to be accessible and simple enough for anyone to practice. Many teachers and leaders in integrative medicine have influenced our approach to mindful moments. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Pema Chodron would say it is “practicing in the gaps.” Look for the weekly mindful moment every Monday. May it support you in finding your center to live life to the fullest.