In the movie Matrix Reloaded, the Merovingian said to Neo: “…if we do not ever take time, how can we ever have time?”
As I sat down to sip on the tea I’d just made for myself, these words popped into my head (along with a flood of fond memories I have of the Matrix movies).
It made me pause and reflect on the importance of taking time.
Taking time to just be in the present moment.
Your mind is constantly moving back and forth between the past and the future. Thinking about the things you need to do or ruminating on the things you should’ve done or wish you’d said.
Your thoughts trigger emotions. Your emotions trigger more thoughts. More thoughts generate more emotions… and on and on… and on!
Can you relate?
Stress, anxiety or overwhelm are a natural result of your mind not being present in the moment.
When you bring your awareness into present in the moment, the chaos in your mind begins to quiet and your stress starts to fade away, along with the associated tension in your body… Remember, your body and mind are intimately connected, and it’s moments of being present that help you feel that connection deep inside yourself.
Happiness is now!… You don’t experience it in the future or the past. When you’re happy, it’s now!
Happiness is a natural result of your mind coming to rest in the present moment.
When you’re always busy and never take time to be present, then you always feel like you just don’t have time. There’s a certain level of stress that is always there because you’re always doing something, physically or mentally.
The fascinating thing about time is that when you take time to be present, it feels like time slows down, something in you becomes restful, and you feel like you have more time.
Time is relative.
It’s really about your relationship to time. There are still only 24 hours in a day, but you feel like you have more time because your mind slows down. It’s a refreshing break from the constant busyness that usually occupies your mind.
The key here is that you need to practice.
It might all sound great as you read this, but it’s the actual practice that will give you the first hand experience.
A Mindfulness Practice and Challenge
Here’s a simple practice to help you become more present. But more than just give you a practice, I want to challenge you to actually do it.
Because I do care that you find peace in this life!
At least once a day for this next week, I challenge you to take time to drink a tea mindfully. If you usually prefer coffee, this can work too.
Mindfulness is an important skill to cultivate because it brings your awareness into the present moment by engaging your senses. And the skill, or muscle, you cultivate during this activity is transferable to any activity.
A mindful tea
For this challenge it would be something like this.
When your tea is ready to drink:
- Sit quietly.
- Be like a child, experiencing something for the first time.
- Take a moment to observe your tea. What colour is it?
- Notice the steam rising.
- Reach out and take the teacup, or mug, in your hands.
- Feel the texture of the cup. Is it rough or smooth?
- Feel the warmth on your hands.
- Bring the tea close to your mouth, but before you take a sip, inhale deeply. Breath in the aroma of your tea. How does the smell make you feel?
- Then take a sip.
- Let your awareness be drawn into the experience in your mouth. The taste and the warmth.
- As you swallow your tea, feel it descend down your throat and into your stomach. How does the warm tea feel in your stomach?
- Take a moment to feel your whole body.
- Notice how present you feel.
- Repeat and repeat.
If your mind tries to take you elsewhere, just acknowledge the thought, let it go and return your awareness back to the experience of your tea.
Most importantly, acknowledge how this practice shifts your state of mind. How it makes you feel more grounded, clear and peaceful.
And how does your heart feel? A little more open and free (or a lot)?
It’s not complicated. It just requires you to take time.
These moments are priceless!
Invest in them.