Seeing my 2 years old niece run around in the garden makes me light-hearted. The smile on her face. And her wide-open eyes looking at everyday things in amazement.
Most of us forget this playful curiosity when we get older. We’re moving to a new neighborhood and after a few weeks everything feels familiar.
We get stuck in our daily struggles.
But if you’ve been practicing mindfulness for a while, you may notice that sometimes this feeling comes back.
Meditation and mindfulness benefit from a playful and curious approach. When you sit down to meditate, you don’t know what will happen. It may be meditation no. 1432, but it’s also the first and only time this moment that you meditate.
Mindfulness itself also helps us to be more playful and curious. The more often I meditate, the more often I’m surprised by the everyday beauty that’s around us all the time.
Take some of that childhood curiosity back.
Be amazed by the way the hot water feels when you’re doing the dishes. Or by the texture of a wooden desk.
The very essence of playfulness is an openness to anything that may happen, the feeling that whatever happens, it's okay... you're either free to play, or you're not. – John Cleese
Here's a very personal story from a Oxford University student about his mindfulness journey and how meditation helps him with the everyday stress.
“One of the most reliable and overlooked keys to happiness is cultivating and exercising our innate sense of curiosity. That’s because curiosity — a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something — creates an openness to unfamiliar experiences, laying the groundwork for greater opportunities to experience discovery, joy and delight.”
"A few weeks ago, I interviewed someone who wants to become a developer. He was concerned about the fact that he wasn’t good enough technically and that he will never be. ‘What makes a great developer in your opinion?’ he asked me. I answered briefly: ‘A great developer must have technical skills, it’s undeniable. But what really makes you great are your soft skills’.”
Weekly Mindfulness Practice
Grab your hands and squeeze them tight. Hold that for 5 to 10 seconds, then let go. Be aware of how your hands feel. Stay with that feeling as long as you can.
This is a quick exercise that you can repeat throughout the day.
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