One of the most common reasons people don't meditate is because they don't want to sit cross legged on the floor. You don't have to do that. You also don't have to chant, stop wearing deodorant, turn vegan or wear tie-dye. (You can if you want to - but it isn't compulsory to become a member of the mindfulness club, trust me).
When you think of someone meditating, the stereotype of sitting cross-legged prevails. It's not wrong - many people do meditate that way - but it's not the only way to go about it. You can meditate in any position, applying mindfulness to any activity, so don't let the whole sitting thing hold you back. Whether you're sitting on the floor, in a chair, walking, stretching or lying down - simply bringing more mindful moments and presence into your day wherever you can has it's benefits. Everything you do offers the opportunity to become a meditation. A chance to train your mindfulness muscle. A simple daily strategy to try is having a mindful beverage (tea, coffee, lemon water or whatever your morning tipple may be) when you wake up. It's an easy way to bring more awareness and consciousness into your everyday life.
what DOES it mean to drink your coffee un-mindfully (or mindlessly)?
You grab the first cup you see and put it under the coffee machine. You impatiently hit a button to make your drink for you as you stare into space and think about the day’s tasks ahead. A thought pops into your mind and sends you walking off into the other room as the coffee brews. Now you're replaying that awful meeting you were in yesterday and ruminating over how bad it all went. You feel terrible. You come back to the kitchen and grab the cup, throwing milk in it as you start venting to your partner about the stress you're under. You start to sip the coffee as you reach for your phone and scroll through your facebook newsfeed. You leave the drink on the table, interrupted by the sound of an email reaching your computer. You get distracted looking for your handbag. The (unfinished) coffee goes cold. You don't notice, you leave for work.
Note: you weren’t present or focussed for any part of the coffee experience; your mind was always on something else. It wasn't a 'satisfying' experience by any stretch.
Time for a refil. This time you'VE set your intention to drink the coffee mindfully.
You select your favourite mug off the shelf and place it carefully under the coffee machine. You reach for the coffee packet, noticing the country the beans came from. You focus your attention on the noise of the coffee brewing and the sight of it filling the cup. You lift the cup noticing it's warmth. You intentionally don’t add milk - you don’t like too much in your diet. The cup gently warms your cold hands. You slowly take a sip, smelling the fresh scents, noticing it’s rich earthy flavours, experiencing the texture. It warms your mouth, then your throat as you drink. You enjoy every sip without distraction from any of your devices as they are set to silent until you finish your drink. Every time thoughts pop into your mind, you gently re-focus on the experience of drinking, letting them go as you stay in the moment. You feel calm, you feel present and you feel gratitude for the whole experience.
Note: you were present this time, you focussed on the experience and were living in the moment. You carry this awareness forwards into your day.
Adding more mindfulness into your day is a subtle yet profound shift. It all starts with a few short moments of awareness. Take your meditations with you, wherever you go and whatever you're doing, and notice what happens when you practice the art of presence. At the very least, let the idea percolate for a while.