Each morning I take my dog for a walk. The mornings are quiet and peaceful and there are few people around at the time we set off.
I use this quiet and peaceful time to set my intentions for the day, to practice gratitude and to be mindful. It is not often that we allow ourselves the time to enjoy the now, to be fully present in any particular moment and to avoid reverting to our past thoughts or skipping forward to our future.
Mindfulness allows us to be present, to observe the immediate environment around us and to completely immerse ourselves in the now.
Have you ever experienced a trip in your car when you have arrived at your destination and can barely even remember pulling out of the driveway?
This is a good indication that we are so caught up in our mind and our thoughts that we default to automatic pilot, not being mindful or present at all.
Mindfulness helps to take us away from our busy mind and brings us back to our body to consciously enjoy the present moment.
To help you regain your appreciation of being mindful try this simple (and delicious) activity.
You will need a small piece of wrapped chocolate for this practice; I prefer milk chocolate Lindt balls.
- Take your chocolate in your hand and find a comfortable place to sit.
- Sit comfortably in a quiet location where your distractions may be limited.
- Gently close your eyes.
- Take a moment to allow yourself to settle into the quietness around you.
- Take a lovely deep breath in through your nose and out through your nose. Relax.
- With your eyes still closed, bring the wrapped chocolate a little closer to your nose. Inhale and savour the smell.
- As you slowly unwrap the chocolate, allow your other senses to come alive.
- Keeping your eyes closed, begin to slowly unwrap the chocolate; notice the texture of the wrapping in your fingers, the sound of the foil as it unwraps.
- Now that the wrapper is opened, notice the stronger aroma of chocolate as it is released from the wrapping.
- Gently place the chocolate into your mouth and allow it to just rest in your mouth for a moment.
- Feel your taste buds come alive.
- Slowly allow the chocolate to dissolve on your tongue. Enjoy every rich sensation.
- Once the chocolate has completely dissolved, allow yourself a few moments to ponder your experience before you slowly open your eyes and return to your surroundings.
How did this differ from the way you usually enjoy chocolate?
What did you notice about eating the chocolate with mindfulness?
How do you think this may change your experience of everyday life if you applied mindfulness to everything you do?
Mindfulness is a simple and powerful practice that will help you appreciate the sweetness in every moment of your life.
Go on, take a mouthful.