The view of the car park blurred & disappeared as the droplets of water exploded against my windscreen. My mind was transported to a cliff top overlooking the ocean on a stormy day, the rain pounding the car as I enjoyed the cosy shelter of the front seat, flask in hand.
The beautiful sound filled my ears & I felt an overwhelming sense of peace & contentment wash over me.
I breathed deep, & observed the patterns forming & changing on my windows, The rivers & rain, the valleys & undulations.
I felt a deep appreciation of my car with all of its quirks – for this wonderful gift, & for the friend who brought it to me. I felt deeply grateful for it’s reliability, for the places it takes me & the things it enables me to experience daily.
I felt the empowerment & the freedom it affords me, & I felt blessed.
As a smile drew across my face, I pondered upon how such joy could emerge from such a simple moment.
The fact is that each & every moment can provide joy when lived fully, without the distractions of the overthinking mind. To revel in the beauty experienced with our every sense, & to feel true appreciation for even the mundane can be referred to as being mindful, but it’s even more than that.
In yoga we refer to Bramacharya, sometimes misinterpreted as celibacy due to its intention of encouraging people to use energy for spiritual growth, rather than wasting it on thought word or deed from physical or sensual pleasures.
Bramacharya in fact means conduct consistent with Bramha, or in other words living every moment in the essence of Bramha / creation /oneness / god or whatever term you choose to use. This means to live in the full knowing that everything in existence comes from, & is one & the same energy, & that this energy is love.
Living consciously like this means appreciating everything in existence as something sacred & special, from ourselves to our children to
… yes, even the car wash!
Although this can be explained (& contested) intellectually, it is not something that can be learned from a book, but is understood through the experience of the individual.
The teachings of mindfulness are on the rise here in the west, & if you are new to all of this, they are a great place to start.
Just practice taking moments here & there, not to ‘do’ anything but just to ‘be’ (after all you are a human being, not a human doing). Listen for the sounds around you, notice the colours that you see, feel the air on your skin & the sensations in your body, notice how the breath enters & leaves your body, & fully appreciate every part of the experience.
When we get out of our overthinking minds by giving them a break in this way, we can grow to feel a new kind of appreciation of the miracle of us, of our lives & of creation itself. We can begin to know what it is to feel deep gratitude, & have the pleasure of that gratitude seeping into more & more moments, until even the most mundane of tasks, which may in the past have seemed like time wasting chores, become wonderful gifts & fresh opportunities to experience the joy of life.
Gratitude is so much more than just a word ,it is a feeling.
I experience it in the whole of my body, emanating from my chest (from my heart), like an inner smile radiating outwards.
I wonder where you feel it?
Why not pause right now & take a moment to notice?