Nobody needs to waste their time trying to talk me into believing in the power of weighing, measuring and tracking. I can’t going through a day without weighing myself every morning, measuring every ounce of every macronutrient that goes in my mouth, and tracking every fraction of a pound that I lift when I train. We know what time we go to bed every night and set the alarm clock to exactly 7 hours later. I roll each calf for at least 1 minute, but not more than 2 minutes at least once a day. I use an ultrasound machine on my knee, forearm, and lat for at least 5 minutes but not more than 10 minutes. I even weigh my glass of wine, using the tare feature on my food scale, to an exact 6 ounces on Saturdays and Wednesdays because those are the only nights when I don’t train the next day. And, for the record, that party’s over soon as we edge closer to The Open.
There are people in my life that are reading this right now and I know exactly what they’re thinking. But, that’s fine. They can think whatever they want. That’s really not the point of this, anyway.
The point is I know that, for what I do, that is the sort of mindset that gets you to reach your goals. It’s good for me because I know where I’m at and I know what I need to do every hour of every day. I can, literally, lay it all out on paper for anyone who’s wondering…including myself.
But, when today’s Headspace meditation was introduced by Andy, the narrator, he started talking about how there’s a huge benefit to being able to utilize the practice outside of the 10 minutes we do with the app everyday. He talked about how it’s a good idea to get in the habit of taking short periods of time during the day where you almost do a quick little meditation wherever you’re at: in your office, eating lunch, sitting on the train.
Taking the time to practice your mindfulness doesn’t have to be the ideal situation of a quiet space where you’re seated in the upright position or laying on the ground with your eyes closed.
It can be as simple as standing outside waiting for the bus and taking the few moments to connect with your breathing and the feeling of warmth that the sun brings to your face and arms while taking note of the smell of the grass being cut on the lawn next to you.
Now, getting me to slow down is tough. I haven’t sat through an entire movie since I was pregnant with Harley Love. There’s not a chance in hell you’ll ever hear about me taking a nap during the day. And, God forbid there’s ever a dish in the sink when I walk by it. Because that’s getting washed immediately.
But, if Andy says to do something, I have to at least try it.
So, I did.
When I did, though, it, literally, felt like I was putting the brakes on and I could hear the sound of screeching tires.
I was writing yesterday’s blog post and got up to grab lunch #3 so I could eat it while I wrote in front of the fire while NormaTec’ing (so much for eliminating multi-tasking from my life; I love when I preach about something and then revert right back to my bad habits and see it all there in one big fat sentence on my computer screen).
As I sat down, the sight of the fire caught my eye. I realized that was the perfect time to put my mindfulness to practice.
I resisted the urge to grab my computer and slide my leg sleeves back on. I even stopped my aggressively high-speed chewing…which is another thing I need to slow down and “get better” at…and, put my plate down so I could really focus.
I watched the flames flicker. I listened to the crackling. I breathed in the aroma of the smoke. I started listening to the sound of my breathing. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth on the front part of my body as it contrasted the cooler air from behind me. I dialed in on the tingling it brought to my lips and tip of my nose. My mind started drifting around to things here and there, but I kept pulling myself back in to the fire and my breathing.
I was finally “present”. On one thing. One really small thing. Like, super dialed into it.
You can’t “measure” that level of being dialed in. You can’t “weigh” that sort of mental connection you make with your surroundings. I guess I can track it by writing about it here, but that’s more a record of feelings rather than numbers and factual “data”. And, it’s hard to really “record” the power of a feeling like that.
I don’t know. I just love that angle on perception and awareness. It’s so easy to pass over those things. I mean, how many hours have I sat in front of fires and never really experienced it like I did today?
How cool is that? Fires me up to “see” all the things I’ve been missing out on.
See what I did there?