Mindfulness, like yoga, is a practice.

by Meagan MacNeill

“We are making this fast, I want to be in and out in a couple minutes”, is what I said to my 8 year old and 10 year old as we went through the grocery store doors.  I put my blinders on and raced  directly to the items I needed.  At one point, at the end of the dairy isle,  my kids noticed that the Easter products had been put out.  I heard my 8 year old daughter, Cara,  saying something about getting a piece of candy.   Without hesitation or consideration, I said “no”.

In record short time, I parked the carriage in the shortest check-out line.  My daughter looked up at me and said, “Mom, can I please go back and get the caramel Easter egg?  It is Eve’s (her older sister’s) favorite candy and I REALLY want to get it for her.  I will pay for it myself.”  As how I had just been acting came crashing down on me, I lowered my head and said “yes, that would be very thoughtful”.

We pulled in the driveway and she raced into the house to give her sister the piece of candy she bought for her, and insisted on paying me back the 50 cents that the caramel Easter egg cost.  Later that night while cleaning the dinner dishes, Cara was sitting at the island behind me.  I looked at her and she had tears in her eyes.  Immediately thinking something was wrong, I raced over to her and wrapped my arms around her.  “What is the matter?” I asked.  She responded by saying, “Mom, these are happy tears!  It felt really good to give Evie that candy”.

That night, I could not help thinking about all of the events that unfolded.  My behavior in the store not only affected myself, but also the people around me.  I could have robbed my daughter of the wonderful feeling of being generous, kind and thoughtful.   What other experiences did I miss when my head was down and I rushed through the store?

Mindfulness, like yoga, is a practice.  There is no final destination or mastery of the art of living mindfully.  One day we think that we are doing great and staying present, the next day something happens that shows how human and imperfect we really are.

Yoga allows our minds to slow down as we work with our breath and flow through different Asanas.  We focus on what is happening right now and how it feels in our body.  The more we come to our yoga mat, the easier it becomes to be fully present in our practice.  As we continue to cultivate awareness on our yoga mat, eventually it begins to spill over off the mat into our everyday life.

My name is Meagan MacNeill and I will be teaching the 5:30am heated Power class on Wednesday morning.  Come start your Wednesday with me as we mindfully move through Sun Salutations and different Asanas.


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