It’s not about the distance, It’s about the journey
As a wellness professional I am guilty at times of focusing on the distance and how fast I finished a hike or walk. Rather than taking my time and forgetting about the fitness goals.
When you go on a walk or hike the goal should be to observe everything that you pass, discover new things, listen to the sounds, feel the breeze and just be there.
How many times have you gone for a walk or hike and can’t recall anything about it other than you did it, you were tired and/or hot. I know it has happened to me and it has also happened to you as well.
If you are doing it on a walk or hike you are most likely doing it in everyday life. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself a few easy questions.
1. What was the weather like in the morning two days ago?
2. Who did you talk to if anyone three days ago?
3. What did you talk about in detail?
4. Did you notice anything new over the past week during your day?
Seems easy right…. take a few minutes and really think about it.
How did you do? How mindful of your days were you?
Well you are not alone it is estimated the 95% of people in todays modern world can not answer those questions easily or at all. The reasons vary for every person on the surface at first. When I deep dive with people about it the reasons don’t vary as much anymore. Suddenly it’s “I just wasn’t paying attention and I was on auto-pilot. I do the same things every day and every week”.
What has happened to us as a society? Well, nowadays it’s rush here, rush there, check social media, watch TV, workout, eat and sleep. For over 90% of the people I have asked this is exactly the order.
The first to go is our health. Starting with sleep because we get so distracted by social media and TV that we don’t sleep enough or get enough quality sleep. The second, to go is healthy eating or just eating at all. When we go on auto-pilot we tend to grab quick and easy bad food choices or don’t eat at all because we don’t slow down and plan. Last to go is exercise. Last because this one makes us feel guilty if we don’t perform it. Plus, it requires discipline and focus to make sure that we don’t get hurt while exercising.
So how do we get back to the actual journey of life and not be on a mindless race to the end.
Morning Wake Up
It begins by waking up each day awake and present. When I say that I mean you need to wake up after getting a full night of rest and recovery to be fully recharged. To be present means to slow down and listen, feel, smell and see everything around you.
DO NOT TURN ON THE TV OR GO ON SOCIAL MEDIA OR CHECK YOUR EMAILS.
If you want to know what the weather is like outside go outside see it, feel it and smell the morning air. While you are out there look around. Do you hear any birds singing? Do you see the sunrise? If so how did it make you feel? Trust me checking the weather this way is far more beneficial for your mind, body and soul. Try it for one week and if it doesn’t change you in a positive manner contact me and tell me why and how it did affect you.
Rush Here, Rush There
Sometimes we just can’t avoid rushing around, but most days we can. If we wake up earlier, plan better, leave earlier or take a different route. My point is there are always better options if you take time to plan your day. Planning your day isn’t just about driving your car. It’s also about your every day activities. Most people try for eight hours of sleep at night, which leaves you with sixteen hours a day to accomplish the daily tasks. Which should be more than sufficient.
· First rule: When planning your day not everything has to be completed in the same four-hour window. Spread it out and be more efficient.
· Second rule: Your health must come first. Yes, before TV and social media. The sooner you realize there is a whole world waiting for you that is real and not on TV or on social media the healthier you will be mentally and physically.
· Third rule: Preplan healthy meals. This is very important, because if you are eating unhealthy meals your brain will sit in a constant fog from not receiving the proper nutrient’s.
· Fourth rule: Be present all day. Don’t let yourself be distracted by people or tasks that are not your responsibility. If your day is preplanned well an additional task will not upset your day because you will still have time available to accomplish it and everything else.
By now you have probably realized just how often that you are not present and experiencing everything around you every day.
Can you see how preplanning can save you time every day to be present? In 26 years as a wellness professional preplanning has worked for thousands of my clients. It is the reason that they were able to change their lives for the healthier.
Meditating and Meditation
Meditating is another way to become more present every day. Wait! What? Meditating is for clearing the mind of all thoughts, right? Wrong, meditating is about enhancing your thoughts not muting them. Think about it this way. The more you are aware of your thoughts good and bad, the more you can understand them, feel them and enjoy them. So, meditating is a good way to focus your thoughts for each day.
Meditation practice begins with breathing. Proper breathing is the key to meditating. Breathing should be slow, deep full breaths that you can maintain and use to help bring you into a state of meditation. Meditation does not need to be long and yes it does require practice. Not a single person does it perfectly the very first time or the second.
When you meditate focus on the here and now not the past or the future. Remember life is being present now. So, if you are thinking about the past or the future you are not able to experience the present.
Past, Present and Future
While it is good to understand the past, it is not a place to dwell or get stuck. The same is true about the future. It is great to dream about what you want but dreams alone will not get you them. When you are living in the present you can use the experience of the past to make the correct decisions for the dreams that you want to make come true in the future.
How often are you dreaming or reminiscing rather than being present? Dreaming or reminiscing too much are signs that you need to make a change in your present life. What is too much? Too much is when you do it so often that your present life is on auto-pilot. In today’s world over 90% of people are either dreaming or reminiscing or both every day. Hence the auto-pilot state of being.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT!
The bottom line is you have a choice to run on auto-pilot or to be mindfully present every day. I have outlined in this blog the easiest ways to start enjoying the journey of your life rather than just counting the distance that you have traveled.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me directly.