I've been going down the rabbit hole of Mindfulness lately. Apparently we spend well over 50% of our lives thinking forwards into the future or rehashing the past, meaning less than half our existence is actually spent in the moment. I find this statistic horrifying, and as someone with a lot of experience of unproductive brain wandering, I'm trying to improve.
This week, my aim has been to practice mindfulness while undertaking mundane, everyday tasks. The three tasks I've chosen are brushing my teeth, showering and going to the toilet (no surprises there then, gutterbrain Hodge). I can now tell you how vivid the pink mottled cubicle doors at Watford Gap services are, how pure the first blast of cold water is from my faux chrome shower head, and how alive my upper left gums feel as I massage them in circular motions. All very exciting stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. But the point is, I need to start somewhere with rewiring my brain, and this is really working.
Massively linked to the process of Mindfulness is Gratitude. I'm finding that stopping and finding three things to be grateful for (what is it about groups of three that is so pleasing?) is also a wonderful tonic. Whether it's how soft my cat Midnight's toe beans are, how warm my duvet is, or the sheer joy of a Sunday morning lie in after driving for 9 hours yesterday (awesome Slice Of Life gig at London Punk Festival yesterday by the way, thanks for having us), there is always something to be thankful for. We take so much for granted in our comparatively privileged lives, the least we can do is stop and smell the roses once a day.
So, today I will be doing whatever the hell I want for the next few hours, being Mindful and Grateful for it, and not worrying about being unproductive. Because not taking a break, and worrying about being unproductive, or worrying about taking a break, or worrying about not feeling guilty about either (see how easy it is to tie your brain up in knots?) is a complete waste of time, energy and existence. Be kind to yourselves, and be grateful for another day on planet earth. Happy Sunday.