Here is the third of my 50 Mindful Practices from my upcoming book. Please sign up for my weekly emails if you want to get the rest automatically in your email box. I welcome your feedback and please pass along to your friends!
MINDFULNESS MADE EASY – 50 PRACTICES TO REDUCE STRESS AND CREATE CALM – FOR HOME, SCHOOL AND WORK
Practice 3: Use All Your Senses
“Never underestimate the value of small rituals for everyday household chores. You can bring mindful presence into doing the laundry, washing dishes or making dinner. These small routine ceremonies are opportunities to still your mind and give you a small breathing space within the hurly-burly of everyday life.“ Brantley and Millstine
What it is. Although all humans have five senses – sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing- we tend not to use them all and often favour one or two, causing the others to sit relatively dormant. This practice will help you activate all your senses.
How to do it. For this exercise you need a group of at least five (and up to 30) people and a bag of navel oranges. When everyone is sitting, ask each person to take one orange from the bag. Have each person touch their orange, smell the orange and look at it closely. Ask them to note any particular markings on the orange since they will be asked to identify it later. After about 3 minutes, have each person place the orange back in the bag. Mix them around and then pour the oranges into a pile in the middle of the room. Finally, ask each person to come up and select their orange.
What to notice. It is surprising when each person identifies their own orange. Often we assume oranges are all the same and we don’t take the time to see how unique each one is. By being more attentive we begin to notice the subtle differences in everything – from fruit to the weather and particularly to people we do not know well. We wake up to the realization that every single thing and every moment is different and that mindfully using your senses is a powerful tool of observation and understanding.