The first meditation in this fall mindfulness series asked you to practice recalling your surroundings with eyes closed. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can go back and give it a whirl right now. Or you can move on to the next one; it’s not necessary that you do these mindfulness exercises in order—as long as you do them. For the second meditation in the series, we’re going to work a different part of your awareness muscle with eyes open. The purpose is to enhance your memory as well as your ability to notice your surroundings.
Start seated, looking at a single point on a wall in front of you. Try feeling everything in the room. Hear all the sounds. See everything in your peripheral vision. Feel the clothes on your body. Feel the air around you, and the smell of the room. Activate all five senses, focusing on being very present for the next six minutes.
Why is this important? Take the example of my client’s son: After beginning practicing mindfulness, the little boy vastly improved his soccer performance, and he credits his success to better awareness of what’s going on around him. This newly heightened sense allowed the child to anticipate his teammates and opponents’ moves on the field, which, in turn, allowed him to be more strategic and react without hesitation.
Similarly, when you dedicate time to increasing your environmental awareness, you are more readily prepared to handle any obstacles that may unexpectedly get thrown in your path. When you’re living more profoundly in the moment, then you are working toward creating a life that you truly appreciate—literally, every second.
The end goal? Living each day with as much awareness as possible. Not only will this bring you advantages on the playing field of life, but also you’ll be able to look back on memories easily and in detail. Life won’t feel vague. It will feel rich, clear, and well-lived.
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