It’s 7 pm on a Tuesday and I open my home door after returning from my office. As I enter my home, my six year old daughter Nayra is watching “Tarak Mehta ka Ulta Chasma”and I say to her “How was your Day Gigi ? ( My pet name for Nayra ). She says Great Day and I ask her (like my daily habit ) – What was great about today ? She shares that favourite part of her day was playing with her friends and creating new paintings. I go upstairs freshen up & come to the family room for dinner. Nayra says “Dad, let’s play Pictureka ( a board game ) & I am feeling exhausted with my mind still running multiple ideas and thoughts of the day at work. I did not hear her the first time so I asked her again – Sorry dear what did you say?” Her tone gets higher “Papa, let’s play Pictureka” & in my mind I feel no energy and enthusiasm to play with her.
Eventually after finishing my dinner, I start to play with her and I find it extremely difficult to enjoy and have fun with her playing the game as my mind is cluttered with 3-4 thoughts running and not willing to stop. I could feel my daughter also realizing that I am not with her playing but somewhere else.
This was a typical evening for me after my office where I struggled to enjoy the moments with my daughter. But the good news is this has now started changing !
I started to apply a new tool / technique in my life which I will share in later part of this blog. Here is how my evenings have started to change….
Now, when I come back from office, I experience calmness and peace within my mind as I enter home. When Nayra asked me “let’s play”, I with a fun tone said “Today, I am going to win “(I used to lose every time ). When we started playing, I experienced that I was completely having fun with her as if no other thought existed in my mind except playing with Nayra was the only ONE THING present in that moment.
What lead me to this new wonderful experience of mine compared to past evenings of being completely disconnected with my daughter?
Below is a new technique I got introduced to few weeks back that made this new positive experience possible with my daughter.
On the evening of 11th March 2017, I got introduced to a new term called “Mindfulness” by my Dad when he shared a link to a video called “Why Google, Target and General Mills are investing in mindfulness?” after he attended an event of Baroda Management Association on “Mindfulness – Science of Happiness.
Next day morning, I searched Mindfulness on Google and out of various definitions on the web, got connected with the below meaning:
“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe thoughts & feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”
I started experimenting & applying “mindfulness” on daily basis by:
1) Being conscious to my thoughts and emotions as a movie running in my mind & it not being a part of me (observe them as an outsider) during the day. I tried not to judge my thoughts as right or wrong.
2) Started focusing on only ONE action / ONE priority / ONE thought / ONE emotion at a time and asking the second action / priority / thought / emotion to wait until I am done with the first one. Being Present to ONLY ONE thing.
When I started doing the above, besides my positive emotions, I became conscious to three of my negative emotions which were appearing within me on consistent & daily basis which took away lot of mental energy during the day : 1) Anxiety
I started observing my negative emotions and the kind of thoughts and questions that lead to those emotions. E.g. I observed emotion of anxiety when following thoughts/ questions appeared in my mind:
Will I able to reach my goals within the timeline I have set? What if don’t achieve my goal?
Am I choosing the best use of my time right now or am I wasting it?
What will others think of me if I express openly and freely of what I feel about a situation?
I observed emotion of fear with questions / thoughts like:
What if one of my key business partner stops doing business? (the fear of not able to reach business targets)
What if one of my close personal relationships decides to discontinue relationship with me? (The fear of losing a relationship – a near or dear one)
I observed emotion of upset with situations like:
I did not achieve my goals ( business or fitness ) I set for myself within a timeframe
When a friend or family member doesn’t return my phone call
I started observing my emotions from andistance and imagining that they are not a part of me. I observed them like a movie and did not judge as right or wrong.
I also started consciously doing one thing or having one thought at a time and kept the second action or thought on hold until I choose to work with the second thought or action.
My experience on applying mindfulness since past few weeks has been unique & special.
Now, I love the experience of “being mindful” when playing with my daughter after office compared to being “mind – full”
The biggest breakthrough & success I have achieved so far is I have started to observe my negative emotions of anxiety, fear & upset as a movie running by (not a part of me) and this has eventually lead to me live with more positive emotions of focus, calm and clarity in my life – most important is living in the PRESENT especially at the end of the day when my mind and body has gone through a 12 + hours of living.
Would you like to create a consistent experience of feeling fulfilled with positive emotions of “focus, calm & clarity” in your life on daily basis?
If yes, consider experimenting with Mindfulness!