So, do you shower alone? Or… with someone?
Wait! Don’t tell me. I’m not asking about your love life or your water conservation tactics.
Jon Kabat Zinn, a leader in the teaching of mindfulness, suggests that the time we spend in the shower can be a very good place to start practicing being just where we are.
As I listened to his interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, I realized I bring a lot of people into the shower with me… There’s the Me from last night who wishes she had slept better, the Me from twenty minutes from now who has to remember to put on sunscreen, the one who forgot to feed the dogs before she got in this shower, the one who really needs to remember to call her dental hygenist and reschedule her cleaning, Oh, and change the sprinkler that’s running in the orchard… and my most unfavorite Me… the Personal Trainer who reminds me I have not worked out yet today…
The point is, a shower can feel really good if you let it. If you can give your big, beautiful brain a rest and just be in the shower; feel the water on your skin, the shampoo washing down over your shoulders, the steam surrounding you. All the stuff you’re bringing with you in the shower can wait ten minutes. Guaranteed. And that ten (or fifteen) minutes of being in the moment are going to help you feel calmer, more grateful, less stressed and thinner. Ha! Gotcha. But the first three are totally true.
If you try this, and I bet you do; you’ll get frustrated because your brain just keeps suggesting things that need your attention “right now!” But here’s the cool thing; when you catch your brain taking over your shower, just come back. Come back to the water and the soap and the steam. The second you catch yourself and come back, you’re being mindful. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself being mindful during other cool moments, like washing dishes, having conversations with the ones you love, and playing with your dogs. The possibilities boggle the mind.
In my life, mindfulness led to a greater level of satisfaction and gasp… happiness. But don’t do it to be happy. I swear holding that agenda can take the fun out of anything, and push “happiness” further away. Just do it for the experience of hot water, soap bubbles and steam. And ten or fifteen minutes of time away from all those other Yous that have so very much to do.
Google tells me there are over 184 quotes about living in the moment ~ spanning decades. There could very possibly be some merit to it. Eckhart Tolle is, I think, well versed on the subject…
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle