One of my biggest psychological problems has always been that while waiting for things to come, I don't notice things that are already there. I always seem to be waiting for something, plan and look forward to something: weekends, holidays, Christmases, birthdays, roadtrips etc. But when they finally come, I start worrying about time passing by too quickly, about having go back to work soon and so on. I am never IN the moment.
It's even worse when it comes to stressful events. A big meeting with a client, a doctor's appointment to find out the results of my tests - these things make me worry for days in advance and I automatically imagine worst-case scenarios and make myself miserable.
It's not a fun way to live. Frankly, it's quite exhausting.
I am aware of it and have tried different things to control it, but without much success. Most recently I tried meditation - I sat outside on my decking, deep breaths, empty mind.. only for a few seconds. All I kept thinking of was how much I wanted to tidy up my garden, how much the weeds were annoying me. After 15 minutes of torture I finally got up and started weeding... And miraculously, that did the trick. I was totally there, carefully looking at each plant, taking out the weeds, fully aware of the fresh air in my lungs and the soft sunrays on my face.
I didn't realise it at the time, but that was pretty much all mindfulness is about. That made me think of other times I was fully present, of the memories which somehow are so much clearer than others in my head.
I realised that I am the most mindful when I'm outside, alone, surrounded by nature. Every time I tend to my plants or weed the garden. Every time I stop to look at or take a picture of a particularly beautiful flower or an interesting tree. Every time I'm in the forest picking mushrooms. That last one is a real phenomenon. My mind automatically switches to hunting mode, all my senses sharpen and I am fully, completely there; aware of the moss and twigs under my feet, birds singing above me, and looking for those tasty little treasures all around. Apparently this is what my mind needs, it's where it feels at home. And I absolutely love it.
I will continue trying to be more mindful in general, let things come in their own time and allow myself to live in the meantime rather than just wait. But knowing I am capable of mindfulness at all is a great start.