It is a gorgeous summer Saturday afternoon and I am sitting looking out at Mill Pond in Chatham. While many might question how I could enjoy time just sitting, rather than actively pursuing the myriad of recreational opportunities that abound on beautiful Cape Cod in the summer.
I am completely enveloped in the moment, relishing with all my senses the summer scene in front of me. Yes, I did have a vigorous walk early this morning followed by some time to sit and read, Now I just want to let my mind wander and be filled with the world in front of me. I can see the sun creating “diamonds” sparkling on the water, I can hear the water lapping up against the boat hulls, I can hear the sea gulls as they soar overhead, I can smell the honeysuckle on the hedge, I can feel the warmth of the afternoon sun on my face. I am breathing deeply, slowly, letting breath in and out, in and out, in and out.
Mindfulness is something we can accomplish every moment. In the wisdom of Jon Kabat Zinn, “Wherever you are, you are there”. With mindfulness we can sharpen our senses, empty our minds of cluttering thoughts and relax our souls so we have room for feeling and being. The recent research on mindfulness shows the positive benefits we reap from just taking a few, regular moments each day to breathe and center.
I know it feels impossible to believe that we are already past the 4th of July and that summer may feel like it is fleeing by at break neck pace. Rather than succumbing to the urge to fill time with more activities, I want to encourage that you consider slow ing down to be in the moment. Breathe, listen, smell, taste, be open to the sensory experience of summer and all that it gives us.
Then go and do. Bike a bit, walk a beautiful beach, swim, be with family and friends, grill some fresh vegetables, eat lots of tasty watermelon and remember all of it for when we are watching it snow next January.