Human beings are creatures of habit. We follow routines because they give us comfort. We drive a certain route, and if there is a diversion, it will spoil the whole day. We buy a specific soap powder and don’t like to change. We always buy McVities biscuits. Okay, maybe that one’s just me then? (And occasionally I’ll buy M&S cookies or visit Krispy Kreme.)… But we do like things to flow how they always do. If you enter a building by a certain door, chances are you will want to leave by that door.
Mindfulness tries to breach that habit and make you aware of what you are doing “in the moment”. If you eat your lunch at your desk, and continue working, you may not even know what the sandwich was… How silly is that? Why not stop for ten or fifteen minutes, eat the sandwich slowly and enjoy every bite. Whether it’s M&S, Tesco or the new deli opposite BHS ( Sam’s Deli try it – gorgeous coffee and shortbread!) the food should be savoured.
Likewise if you come off the bus and walk to Boots to get your prescription by hurrying past Tesco and then down past the cash machines, why not do something different. Saunter past HMV and window shop for music you can put on your birthday list for in car CD’s? Maybe have a pastry in Patisserie Valerie? Go into Clinton and giggle at the funny cards and pick up a few thank you notes? Go into Poundland on your way to Boots and maybe treat yourself to some Easter chocolate or some thermal socks – might be snow on the way! And if that is as far as you usually go then wander down to the Bucks Hospice second hand bookshop and see if they’ve got a new thriller writer you might not have read before? And on the way back go into Waterstones or the library and get a book on mindfulness. Life is too fast or too routine for many of us and sometimes a simple change can make a difference. Try it, you never know.