Even walking 10 paces can be a mindful meditation. Notice as you lift your foot, place it down, move forward, switch feet and lift your other foot and repeat. All along breathing consciously, eyes gently focusing on an arbitrary point somewhere in front of you. In these few breaths you can alter the quality of your presence. This is meditation. This is mindfulness.
Your words are the vessel of your day. Just as a vessel shapes the water that it is filled with, our words shape the possibilities that we eventually live into. Rather than get frustrated or fall into the why-me / victim setting, pause and reflect to uncover how you may have created the present moment with your language.
When we avoid fully feeling our anger, frustration and sadness, we also block the inflow of love, happiness and joy. The quality of our state of wellness is affected by our emotions, and there is no separation within our emotional body, it is one. When we deny the negative experiences their expression, we also shun the positive ones.
What we focus on grows and expands. While in meditation when the monkey mind starts acting up, simply notice what comes up. Rather than focus on the haphazard trail of the mind, take a deep breath and come back; follow the next inhale, exhale, inhale and then exhale again. Every breath is an invitation to come back to yourself and rid your mind of the clutter of thoughts. Just keep coming back, lovingly, without judgment.
"The thing about stress is that it's automatic, it finds you, you don't have to go find it. The problem with relaxation, or mindfulness, is that it's a lot of frickin' work. It's an active process, it's not something that happens to you. Stress finds you. You have to go looking for relaxation." Dr. Mark Hyman interviewed by Katie Couric at Ariana Huffington's conference on Mindfulness.
Stress is contagious. When we're stressed, we are prone to be harsher on ourselves, sharper with our friends and family, and less sensitive to the needs of strangers. The pause can bring us back to the present moment, and break the cycle of automaticity of the stress response. How would you choose a pause when under stress?