My dad used to love his work. He was an engineer and we, the children, used to take the mickey out of him, as you do with the parents. He had a passion for taking apart pieces of electronic things, such as stereos, phones, radios, you name it, for then putting them back again. Often, under his attention, what it was before an electric hair dryer was transformed into a walkie talky, a simple radio could perform like a synthesizer of 500watts of power, after his manipulation, and a broom stick, if needed to be, into a skateboard.
He was one of that man who could fix everything that did not function properly, and he was so magic that, in the worst condition, could convert them into something completely different and of course, totally useless at times. We, children, found that highly amusing.
I remember him spending hours and hours into his little studio full of broken objects working with a soldering iron into electronic circuits, often very small. My mum had to call him one hundred times when it was dinner time or when needed to say something. Me, as well, I had to go there and tap on the shoulder to have his attention. And even then, he would had gone on and on explaining what he was doing, before to come to dinner.
Here it is, what I think is the closest example of someone who is doing something mindfully: when we work, study, draw, write, swim or whatever else in which we are so into it that we forget the world outside and our mind is totally focus on what we are doing.
However, in this time and age, it is almost impossible that the mind is focused in only one thing as we are surrounded by many distractions.
We engage on endless conversations with friends and family while cooking dinner, file paper and watching the news, sweep the floor and thinking what to wear for that party in the evening.
But to train the mind into mindfulness is the first step into meditation.
Next time, try to do only one thing at time and be fully present. It is relaxing and take the stress away, it also help to have better results. It will make you feel more in control of your life, focused and centred.
Here it is a simple exercise that could be applied on almost anything: gardening, pruning and trimming.
Just to let you know, I am not a big fun of gardening but I still to do it if I don’t want to live in a jungle. Like today for example, a sunny Sunday afternoon when I decided to tackle my garden from a different angle, to actually do it with consciousness. After all, not only I enjoyed myself but also found it gratifying.
I started noticing the plants around me, the threes and the fence that needed cutting. I took a big look at the big picture first, then visualise how I would like to become. I went closer and closer into the particular, like a macro, checked the dry and dead wood and started to trim. I was embraced by the smell in the air blown-out by the plant. I noticed how branches are interwoven with the other plans and looked for disentangling them. I dip my eyes into the colours, my hands plunged into the green and how they made me itch. I spotted every little form of life around me, I felt like a nymph surrounded by the garden and I absorbed and listened and grasped and cut and pruned.
At the end, I felt happy and grateful because I was totally living in that moment and I did a good job too.