The Shower Holds No Fear for Al
Al Levi shares a story from The Mighty.
This is an experience of a different kind in which the mind has been tamed.
Al cites Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University. They believe that “a human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.”
This is what we found out about Libby in the previous shower blog.
Just about 50% of our waking hours are taken up with mind wandering.
Believe it or not, this figure includes daydreaming. Daydreaming often leads to negative thoughts because they have to do with the past or the future, not the present moment.
I have said it elsewhere: Your thoughts are not you, they are the mind raising them up to your consciousness.
So when you have a shower next, try and use all your senses in those moments, each one new and different from the last.
I like lists. Here’s one for showering:
- Feel the temperature of the water, name it
- Listen to the sound of the pulsing water, describe it
- Let the shower run over your face, open your mouth …
- Sense the play of water in the different places on your body
- Sing or recite
- Compare the rough flannel to hand lathering
- Smell the fragrance of soap, gel, water
- Keep going – think of some yourself
I kept the experience going when I toweled myself after my shower.
But now I take time and dry myself very slowly, or even sensuously, loving that I don’t need to hurry or worry.
When I was working full-time, my wash in the morning was as fast as I could make it (three other people needing the bathroom after me)
In my head I was going over things I needed to remember to take with me, what order I was going to teach my lessons that day, lunch money for the girls, getting something out of the freezer for evening meal, worrying about the so-called “friend” who was giving my daughter a hard time, asking the old ladies next door to take in a parcel and so on.
What of my needs? There was no room for them.
And when I got to school early, I hit the floor running. I won’t bore you with what.
This was part of the reason I burnt out.
Now I am retired, I can look after myself properly. Whereas some of my colleagues are as busy now as before. They are looking after ancient parents, doing lengthy babysitting for their grand- children (fun but exhausting), some have taken on other jobs. It was worth all the grinding years to earn the time to do this blog and other activities I wanted to do while I am still healthy.
I am trusting to Mindfulness to keep me from crashing and burning ever again.
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