When I was growing up there was a campaign in my school to insure our safety as we crossed the street. I remember I made a large poster for my class that was the simple, three words the teachers were telling us over and over: STOP-LOOK-LISTEN.
I realized that these three words are the steps to anytime meditative mindfulness.
Let’s take a stop-look-listen:
STOP:: I’ve built some places in my day where I can stop the clutter in my mind and be for a moment in just the present moment of where ever I am. One place I do this is at a red light. I’ll STOP my thoughts for a moment to look around at my surroundings and have a joyful mindful moment of being alive, in the beauty of now. I breathe a breath that I consciously remember. And breathe again.
LOOK: Just looking is great but I try to get to all my senses involved in what is happening at that moment. How comfortable am I in the car seat? Should I adjust my posture because I’m sloughing? Can I follow my breath where the air is coming in and where it is going in my body? Do I recognize my exhale? Sometimes I will notice how I’m feeling about where ever I am going, and sometimes I ask myself, “what’s the hurry?” The pause at the light can re-focus so that I see a bigger picture than me off to an appointment. If I have been frustrated with the traffic, I realize I have no control over the cars and although I would like to have a vehicle that can sprout wings and fly over the traffic, I don’t. That happens only in action movies.
LISTEN: I listen to all the information that is coming in through my senses and thoughts at that moment. Gratefulness, beauty, letting go of frustration, and even a new opportunity for a smile at myself for the minutes preceding that might not have been so mindful. I practice mindful kind and gentle with myself in this moment. I practice self compassion.
STOP-LOOK-LISTEN worked as a kid to keep me safe from harm and STOP-LOOK-LISTEN meditation keeps me safe from my thoughts taking over so that I end up wondering where all the day’s minutes and hours went.
It works. Try it and let me know if it works just once for you.
Peace and blessings,