This post was written by Tracey Delfs, life coach and wellness speaker that has been teaching mindfulness and meditation classes and retreats for the last 15 years.
I truly believe that the most valuable resource we have is our time. We can have money, lose money and then get money back again. We can have our health, lose our health and most of the time we can get our health back again. We can be in a relationship, get out of a relationship and get into another one. However, when this moment is gone we will never get it back again. Each day when we wake up we are gifted 1440 minutes and at the end of the day those moments are gone. We need to realize what a gift each day and each moment is, and never take it for granted.
I believe that the secret to a life well lived is to be as present as possible with every moment and to bring more gratitude into everything we do and everyone we’re with.
I love leading mindfulness retreats, because I have the opportunity to teach others ‘how’ they can learn to live more in the present moment. I want to share a few of my own daily mindfulness and gratitude rituals here, with the hope that you may choose to integrate one or two of them into your own daily routine.
The first thing I do when I wake up and open my eyes is recite to myself a verse from my Zen Master - Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Waking up this morning I smile, 24 brand new hours are before me. I vow to live this day in mindfulness with eyes of love, gratitude and compassion”.
When I get out of bed, I do Sun Salutation Yoga poses which help me to wake up. While I do the Sun Salutations I remind myself how blessed I am to have a body to do yoga with.
Then, I do my morning meditation practice. Meditating in the morning helps me to start off my day feeling grounded and centered, so when the storms (challenges) of the day come I am able to respond versus react.
When I sit down to eat my meals I look at my food and say to myself ‘This food is a gift, may I eat it with gratitude’. Then I focus on my senses as I eat the food - taste, texture, smell, etc.
I incorporate little reminders into my day to help me come back to the present moment. One of my favourite ones is every time I step outside I pause and take a couple of breaths and look up at the sky, listen to the birds and become aware of the warmth of the sun on my face.
When I’m working on my computer I turn off all notifications and turn my phone off, so I can focus on doing one thing at a time. When I send an email I visualize the person that I’m sending the email and feel grateful for having that person in my life.
When I interact with people throughout the day whether it’s a friend, family member, client or someone I attempt to be as present as possible, giving them the full attention that they deserve. The greatest gift that we can give anyone in our life is ‘our presence’.
At the end of the day my husband I do gratitude practice. With this practice we share a few highlights of the day, a few things we are grateful in our life and a few things that we appreciate about each other.
When I get into a bed I do a mini-mindfulness body scan to relax the different parts of my body and calm my mind to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Integrating some of these simple mindfulness and gratitude practices into your day can help you to bring more peace, presence and happiness into every day of your life. Remember…life is not a dress rehearsal.
“Know that life can only be found in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh