This is our busiest time of the year at the office. Time seems to speed up as days pass in a blur, and before you know it the summer break’s upon us, and you can find yourself wondering where the spring went.
Practising mindfulness has taught me the importance of taking a break: to get some fresh air, or just to have a gap of a few minutes to stop and take stock. This helps mitigate the feeling of life rushing by. But maintaining that awareness throughout the day often proves elusive.
I came across something at the weekend that reminded me to value the everyday. It was an invitation to attend a funeral posted in a local Frederiksberg newspaper that has gone viral on social media. It was written by the person being commemorated, who at the time was suffering from terminal breast cancer.
There is probably nothing that can put the value of life more into focus than the awareness of our own mortality. The words “Enjoy every day – remember that it’s the days that just come and go that make up life itself” took on a powerful resonance coming from the perspective of someone who knew she was running out of time.
It’s powerful because it’s true – our lives are made up of the everyday moments: the cup of coffee in the morning, dropping the kids off, time spent at the office with colleagues. If we’re not careful, these moments can blend together and pass by with us hardly paying any regard to them at all. We actually have to make an effort to remember how fortunate we are to be experiencing the everyday as it passes by.
Breaking the spell
The question is, of course, how do you manage to break the spell and value each passing moment? A meditation teacher once remarked to me that practising mindfulness every day could make taking in a breath seem as delicious as sipping a glass of Chardonnay. Bold words. Yet I’ve found them to be true, at least in tantalising glimpses.
When I remember to stop throughout the day, even if just for a few seconds, to focus on my breathing and notice what is going on in that moment, an awareness of and a gratefulness for the everyday does develop – but it takes constant effort and practice.
Daniel is the managing director of Nordeq Management (nordeqmanagement.com), managing cross-border investment projects with a focus on international corporate and tax law issues. Educated as a lawyer, Daniel is passionate about mindfulness as a means of personal transformation, and he holds workshops and runs one-on-one mentoring programs on the subject