From Mindlessness to Mindfulness
The last few weeks have been particularly busy. And I have noticed that this busyness can be overwhelming, often leading to self-doubt and anxiety. So when I booked my train tickets and accommodation for a trip to Edinburgh for some training, I did so in a hurry, another thing to tick off that day’s to do list. I am quite comfortable with a certain level of busyness. It is often how I operate and it can give a sense of flow and vitality. However, it can sometimes be challenging to notice when I am tipping over and reaching the point when it is too much – until I become overwhelmed. This is my growing edge.
Anyway, I arrived on the Friday morning for the first day of the training course and there was nobody around. I was a little early, but the whole building seemed pretty quiet. I then checked my email confirmation on my phone. It started on Saturday! I was really early! For once my anxiety around travelling had come true – I had made a mistake! After around 30 seconds of self-recrimination (which at one point would have lasted a lot longer!), I began to laugh, I had a whole day to myself in a beautiful city! I had accidentally given myself a day off.
I had a lovely day, meditated in the park and walked around the city. I meditated some more in my room and catch up on some reading. There was an opportunity to give myself the time and space to have meaningful conversations with strangers. I met a lovely American couple who were staying in the same acccommodation who have been travelling round Europe since retiring. They described having sold or given away all the things that they no longer needed – including their home. And they seemed really happy. I took a walk and chatted to a woman with her (very well-behaved) dog, who was feeding the ducks. Fascinated, I watched two squirrels chase each other around the trees. I appreciated all of the little things that I wouldn’t have had the time to enjoy had I not made a mistake. I could really take in my surroundings and appreciate my senses in each moment, a practice that can sometimes feel like merely an idea in the busyness of life.
So when the training began a day later than anticipated I was prepared. I had given myself enough space to really engage rather than treating it as another task to complete. And I was grateful. Perhaps there are no accidents after all!