So many of us start the year with beautiful intentions to meditate everyday, perhaps we download a user friendly app that promises us 10 minutes a day is all we need and that we can find the time, we just have to make it. But now, six months into the year, perhaps some of that time you once found or prioritised, has slipped away into the to-do list, and you're once again feeling a bit frazzled, with your mind racing through the day and keeping you up at night.
Being on the other side of this journey, of having found my peace with meditation, I agree that you can find those 10 minutes, if you just make it a priority and not an added value bonus to your day. But, in the beginning, before meditation has calmed down your anxiety, reduced your stress levels and gifted you with new perspective, it is hard to dedicate yourself so fully, when it really truly feels like there are never enough hours in the day.
My suggestion, if you do want to find a sense of inner peace and stillness, is making use of what's around you and your day-to-day life, as an active meditation. Essentially, bringing some mindfulness into your day.
At Food85, we value mindfulness. Our roots are ingrained in our Japanese and Korean heritage, and we resonate with the teachings of Buddhism, especially the art of becoming more mindful. We place an emphasis on appreciating our food, not only when it's on the plate, but when it's being produced, grown and harvested by others, for us. Being more mindful about our food can start as simply as focusing on the flavours in your mouth, perhaps in time paying attention to the textures of your food and eventually, slowing down your chewing, even if it's just slightly, to really savour the dish you're consuming.
Now, in reality, sometimes we have to eat at our desks, or we have eat forkfuls of our dinner whilst holding the baby, or taking a phone call, or publishing the social media scheduled for our business. But when you remember, when you can use your everyday routines like eating to help you slow down and calm down, give it a try.
Besides focusing on what and how you're eating, there are others ways to become more mindful on a daily basis. When walking from the station or the car to work, especially through a busy city, try focusing on the sounds around you. They may be harsh, loud and chaotic, but try removing any association you have with them, and just hear them for what they are - we promise you, it's makes that reversing lorry sound much less intense!
In the morning, when you're brushing your teeth, try not to absentmindedly go through your to-do list for the day. Spend that 3 minutes checking in with your body, or really focusing on the sensations of brushing your teeth. Pay attention to each tooth you're cleaning, what the toothpaste smells like, how your tongue feels against the brush, how your toothpaste tastes, what it sounds like.
In the evening, when you're rushing home from work, try zooming in on your steps, offering yourself a chance at walking meditation. Feel each step, how the ball of your foot touches the ground whilst the other lifts off, the sound your shoes make as they move across the pavement, the feeling of your feet nestled in your socks, or the sensation of the air on your exposed toes in sandals.
The chances are, that you're not going to remember to do this with every walk, every morning, every meal. But as you begin, make a commitment to yourself to try once a day, to be a bit more present, a bit more mindful, and over time, you'll notice how this begins to seep into the rest of your day and how in these moments, you feel calmer, and your brain is a bit less noisy.
And perhaps then, you can try out that meditation app.