I spent my morning at this beautiful meditation garden in Pasadena. The place is so serene and inviting. In addition to their vast collection of plants, there are many things that contribute to the atmosphere of garden. There are many benches, chairs and tables hidden away under trees and arches of vines. One of my favorite things about this garden is the wishing tree. It is a simple tree adorned with origami figures and handwritten wishes. My other favorite thing is the labyrinth. It's a simply maze that serves the purpose of symbolizing how we need to be mindful of the journey we're on instead of being preoccupied with the final destination.
Mindfulness has been a recurring theme in my life as of late. So I took this experience to practice mindfulness and awareness of the present moment. I have heard the saying "if you are living in the past you're depressed, but if you're living in the future, you're anxious." Obviously depression and anxiety are more complicated than that, but I have found that statement to be true. I have often found myself worrying about work while cooking only to find that I've made myself more overwhelmed about work and burned dinner.
So I have been making it a goal to be more mindful, and it has made an impact on my daily life. For one thing, I feel that it keeps me grateful. Being grateful makes me joyful and adds an overall lightness to my life. Being mindful keeps my attention. Instead of my mind traveling into every direction, I am focused on one thing at a time. As a byproduct I am more successful. My meals taste better. My content for work has more value. I am able to express more empathy in everyday situations.
So on that note, I challenge all of you to practice mindfulness. Start with being aware of the details in your surroundings. Having something to focus on that encompass the present moment will help your thoughts from bouncing so much.