Every day I have a perfect opportunity to be mindful for about 30 minutes because every day I walk my dogs first thing in the morning. Usually I head out somewhere between 6-6.30 am. It is still and calm, peaceful and very often the only thing you can hear is birdsong and the occasional passing car in the distance. There are very few people around if any and I can go days without seeing another soul on my morning walk. Depending which route I take I may see and hear the 2 Canada geese that have chosen a pond near me as their summer home. If I am lucky and the dogs are distracted I may see and make eye contact with a deer (this usually signifies an excellent day for me)
On days when I am present I can spot deer tracks, see bright red mushrooms or even yellow brain fungus (it's a real thing, look it up) and on the weekend when time allows I stop and take a picture. I notice the seasons and the ebb and flow of life. Every year I await the arrival of the Canada geese, look for the first blue robin egg shell, the first frog spawn in a pond or puddle. I marvel at sunrises and red sky by morning and occasionally, I am freaked out every time I see it, the sun and the moon right next to each other on the same horizon - weird. I live in a beautiful area of Cornwall and it has so much to see, do and marvel at. Sadly I only notice it on "good" days.
Most of my mornings however are spent like this; cursing myself for the night before, how much I drank, why did I drink, when will I learn, how stupid I am, how much of a waste this is, how I am ruining my life and health, what a crap mom I am, how bad I feel, how sick my stomach is, am I still drunk? will I get pulled over? how will I cope without a license? will I lose my job? gosh I hate my life, what a loser, how much work will I get done today, I hope my boss doesn't notice, what if I smell of booze, what if everyone knows and they talk about me all the time, how soon can I get back to bed, maybe I should call in sick, that's it last night was the end, no more I am done, this time I mean it, it has to be true, I can't keep on like this, this is such a struggle, I feel so bad all the time, another cup of coffee I'll be fine, maybe a Danish will help, am I walking straight, what if someone sees me, do I look drunk, why have I ended up here, when will this end, must get home and get my shit together- and I am back at the car, walk over !
How does that sound for relaxing first thing? All that is before I even shower and start the day and it is most days, not the odd one. It is like a negativity train rocketing through my head and it goes on and on.
Not today though. I made a conscious effort to remain centred and present and not to let my mind wander onto anything except the birds, the wind, the blue sky and my breathing. It kept slipping but I kept pulling it back to centre. And you know what? I had a great day. Full of energy, concentrating on the task at hand, remaining calm under pressure and really quit in the zone. Only day 4 today so no great proclamations but it was a good day today. I had one thought about wine, more of a 4 o'clock reflex but thought 'I am worth more than that' end of reflex.
So the plan is more of the same tomorrow. The big challenge will come on a rainy day, I hate walking in the rain so if I can change that mindset I will be onto a winner.