When it comes to mindfulness, the biggest challenge for me is incorporating it seamlessly into my life. It’s a fantastic code to live by, and one which I am completely committed to. The problem is that, between dogs, family, house, friends and work, I am ashamed to say I can go whole days without even thinking about it. One of my new year’s resolutions was to be more mindful. To try to incorporate mindful practices into my daily life, rather than resorting to them in tricky situations or whenever I happen to remember.
I read an interesting article recently about using your commute to work to be mindful. I commute either by car or train, depending on my plans (and how temperamental my other half’s truck is feeling). Neither route gives me any ‘useable’ time. We’re too far up the train line to entertain any hope of getting a seat and enough space to work, and if I’m driving, more often than not I tune out, forgetting huge chunks of the journey. So the idea of utilising this wasted time appealed to me.
Notice Small Things Around You
Being mindful on your commute is all about noticing the things around you. The bird perched by the side of the road, the cracks in the pavement, the sun glinting off the car in front. I am pretty sure driving mindfully makes me a much more considerate and safe road user. On the train, mindfulness is a little more challenging. Each station offers an opportunity for distraction as everyone bunches up closer together, plus you don’t want to get caught analysing the nuances of the face next to yours. Here, I focus more on feelings. The sun on my face, the feel of the rail beneath my hand.
Feel Connected in the Moment
Whatever your approach, incorporating mindfulness into your daily commute is a great way to feel connected, centred and in the moment. Not only do I arrive at work in a better frame of mind but, most importantly, I get home ready to enjoy the evening, not just crash into bed and wait to start the next day.
Image Source: Robert Couse-Baker