Thursday, February 4, 2010
As usual, the beginning of the semester is filled with lots of to-do's, a seemingly never-ending list of things that constantly need to get done. However, since the past few weeks I've been focusing on approaching each day with a relaxed mind, I figured that I would be in a fantastic state of mind to bring on this wild semester. Well as it turns out, it's a lot easier said than done! I have discovered that I have a hard time completely freeing my mind of thinking about what I need to get done. I've been better about focusing on being present in the moment, and being active in whatever activity or task I am doing at that particular point in the day, but when it comes time to go to sleep, my mind is racing (and there is no "off" button!!) Obviously you need sleep to function, and you need to be able to function to get things done, so as this entire thing is a cycle, I decided I needed to come up with a solution (or at least a fix) to this problem.
As a long term goal, I would like to learn how to meditate, so that I can honestly clear my mind at the beginning and end of each day, and feel more relaxed and prepared to handle things with a carefree attitude. For now, I am focusing on taking small steps toward that goal. I decided I am going to start with something really simple: taking five extra minutes in the morning to focus only on enjoying one of my favorite parts of each day, my morning cup of coffee. It sounds simple, but the truth is I've recently found that everything I do is not as a solo act, but as a part of another task. For example, I rarely ever just sit down and eat a meal, I am almost always checking my email, writing things down, reading something over, or having a conversation with someone. I decided I am going to devote five minutes each morning to drinking my cup of coffee and doing nothing else. Not checking my emails, reading over my planner, texting a friend, or walking to class - but instead, simply enjoying the act of having a few moments to really, truly, let myself enjoy before starting each day, without interruption of something else. I think I will begin to look forward to these moments of contemplation, with the hope that I will know that my cup of coffee = my time! I think we all owe it to ourselves to have moments without interruption of our own thoughts, and ultimately this will help clear your mind as you prepare for each day.
Do you have any particular habits or ways that you ensure you clear your mind each day?