Meditation in Motion – Be Mindful While Making Coffee
The most effective way to develop a mindfulness practice is to be mindful all the time. It sounds impossible to stop thoughts from coming in every minute. I am not asking you stop thinking altogether. When you are acting mindfully, you start noticing what kind of thoughts come to your mind and what triggers them.
Say you are making coffee. In this case, let it be an instant coffee. I know, I know instant is not for everyone, but we recently got rid of our coffee machine, so until we get a new one, this is what I have been doing. You pick up a mug, heat up the water, drop some coffee in your cup, add a little bit of coconut milk (or don’t, suit yourself, but I would argue that it is the most enjoyable way to drink coffee), and mix - a simple recipe for a very delicious beverage.
Now, your coffee ritual might look different from mine. You might not even like coffee and prefer to drink other beverages for your delight. It doesn’t matter. What matters here is that while you were making yourself a coffee (let us stick to this example, even if you don’t drink coffee play along for a moment, you will see my point soon) you probably weren’t even thinking of making coffee. Instead, your actions were atomised entirely, especially if you have been going through the same process for the last 2, 5, 10, or even 20 years of your life.
The deeply programmed process in you doesn't require you to think the following, “Now I am going to get a mug”, “Now, I will turn on the coffee machine”, “This is when I need to open the refrigerator to get milk.” The idea of dictating your next action for something as simple as making a cuppa of a morning brew might even sound ridiculous. Instead, your thoughts might look like this: “I need to pick up the kids earlier from school today because it’s Friday. So I will leave work early, which means I need to finish this project that is due Monday. There is still so much to do; there is no way that I will be finished by lunchtime. I will have to ask someone else to get the kids. I don’t want to ask my mother because instead of feeding them a healthy lunch she succumbs to all their wishes and all they will want is cookies and candy. By the time I will get home exhausted from work the kids will be high on sugar, and I will need to find a way to calm the circus. . .” and so on.
Sound familiar? Okay, I completely made up this particular scenario. You might not even have kids. You might be thinking about school projects, or that weird joke your boyfriend made last night, or how you are dreading your parents visiting you for the weekend because the place is a mess. Regardless, of what thoughts you indulge in that morning I promise you they are not only unnecessary, but they are also setting you up for a stressful day. If you imagine, for instance, that you won’t be able to finish that project by lunchtime, I promise you there is no way you will complete your project by midday. Our thoughts create our actions. It has been proven a multitude of times, and it has been preached by the most successful people of our time: Tony Robbins, Aubrey Marcus, Deepak Chopra, Oprah, even Gandhi. Whatever you think of these people their success is undeniable. Thus, there must be some truth to what they are saying.
What I am proposing here is quite simple, yet it is one of the hardest things you will ever do. I am asking you to solely concentrate on your breathing and catch yourself on thought as often as you can. It will change your life. You might say, but how will I remember all my errands? Right them down the night before your tremendously busy days. I am not saying this sarcastically. It seems as the more forward technology is moving, the busier we become. Oh, the irony of it all.
The point is you want to start catching those thoughts from the moment you open your eyes. I am also not referring to productive thinking like writing or doing math if you are an accountant, or thinking of a recipe when you are making dinner. Here, I am referring to the thoughts that encapsulate you and teleport you into the future or the past. Unless you are doing a manifestation mediation of your dream future or healing the past traumas, you got nothing to do in either of those places. Bring yourself back to the present. That’s where the magic happens.
For example, when you make coffee simply make coffee. Breath and acknowledge thoughts that run through your mind but don’t entertain them. Break the chain of the downward spiral thinking before it imprisons you. Notice your every move, notice how you lift the spoon and mix the milk in your cup. Soon you will be aware of the spoon’s shape, weight, and color. Notice how the light reflects off the spoon. There are a lot of distractions that are manufactured by our mind, but there are also a lot of elements that help us hold on to the present.
If this is all way new to you and being mindful 24/7 seems like a lot of work, please, don’t get overwhelmed. Start with the being mindful of your coffee routines. Do this for a least a week. You will notice the difference in yourself. Do this for a month, and you will be completely transformed.