Relearning a Mindfulness Habit
During the time of year when the weather cooperates, I love eating breakfast in my backyard. For many years, I did so while reading the morning newspaper.
A couple of years ago, I decided to stop reading while I was eating. I wrote them about that here.
But, I allowed myself to fall back into the habit. Then, one morning recently, after finishing breakfast, and the news (on my phone at this point), I realized I hadn’t even looked around at my backyard—I had barely been conscious that I was outside. I had not been present.
So, starting the next day, I began again to eat my breakfast without reading. I would either read and then eat my breakfast, or bring my breakfast out first, eat it, and then read—single tasking and consciously eating, rather than mindlessly eating.
How much time was I saving by eating breakfast at the same time as reading the news? Not much. And, in exchange for that little bit of time, I got back a greater consciousness of what I’m eating and of my surroundings—an experience of more mindfulness. And that has improved my quality of life more than the five or 10 minutes I was saving by mindlessly eating my breakfast.
One of the things about writing a blog like mine is you can feel like a hypocrite if you don’t follow everything you advocate to your readers—even if no one else knows I am not following my own advice.
Knowing that most of what I wrote about in my book, and most of my blog, is from learning from my own experiences, helps me feel better about habit slippage. No one is perfect and successfully and unsuccessfully working on habits is all part of my personal development.
I’ve been enjoying my new breakfast routine, and I’ve been enjoying the learning that came from this experience. I think the habit is going to stick this time. But I also know if it doesn’t, I can try again.
What’s one of your similar experiences? Join the conversation with your comments…