After spending a week on “river time” I let my life become too busy to reflect. Instead of using my experience of pure mindfulness for a week to enhance my self-awareness upon returning to the city, I jumped right back into hectic. Scheduling appointments, checking my phone impulsively, worrying about finances, planning out my days to the half hour, waiting last minute to catch a bus and rushing, procrastinating on busy administrative work, worrying about things I can’t control, looking far ahead, straying away from self-reflection and losing sleep. Then I revisited some pictures…
I spent seven days in the Grand Canyon in early June with a diverse clan of people from all different parts of the country, in different careers, with an array of experience in life. We rafted 90 miles down the Colorado River before hiking out on the Bright Angel Trail. The whole trip consisted of waking up at sunrise, having coffee and breakfast, packing up camp, rafting a few miles, stopping to hike or lunch, rafting some more, hiking and exploring some more, and stopping for the night for dinner, stories, jokes, and sleeping under the stars to wake at sunrise again. There was no cell phone service, and no one had to know what time it was. We woke when the sun woke us, we ate when our stomachs wanted food and our body needed energy, we rode the rapids as they came and we soaked up history, culture, and each others’ company. It was the first time I experienced true mindfulness. There was no use for thinking about the past or future, and when it did creep in, it only took the action of opening up your eyes to the old rock walls around you.
Being back in the city it is all too easy to be consumed by the “what if”. We tend to focus on things that might happen, what people might think or how to please them. We get wrapped up in what others are doing on our instagram feeds, facebook, and twitter. All in fun of course but when do we take the time to unplug and be in the moment, soaking up the now?
Unplugging is beneficial for your health. I am able to unplug during exercise when physical effort is felt and my mind is quiet, however what I had in the canyon was peace of mind at rest as well. Stress can wreck more than havoc on your sleeping schedule- it can cause weight gain, skin irritations, high blood pressure, relationship tension,immune deficiency, and procrastination. A busy mind is not always a productive mind. Healthy living requires being active and eating well, but also being present and managing stress to be at ease and productive. One of CBM’s favorite blogs has an array of techniques and skills to enhance mindfulness for healthy living. Its always a nice refresher to visit Mind Body Green . Check them out for some tips on stress management.