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Mindfulness - 1 easy step: adopt a plant

In the pursuit of happiness and fulfilment, we increasingly come across mentions of:
 
  • Mindfulness
  • Awareness
  • Being conscious
  • Living in the moment
  • Present experience

I’ve heard, read, discussed, tried, misunderstood and relearned much on this ongoing journey of mindfulness and to just be. From my experience, I can recommend adopting a plant. 
 
Some definitions:
 
Mindfulness - a state of active, open attention on the present moment with full acceptance
 
1 easy step - a movement forward achieved without great effort
 
Adopt - choose to take up or follow an idea, method, or course of action
 
A plant - a living organism that usually has leaves or flowers and needs sun and water to survive, exemplified by trees, herbs, shrub, vegetables etc
 
 
The small idea:
 
Identify a plant - it can be a tree that you can see outside your window, a plant you have on your office table, a herb in your garden, a shrub you walk past everyday... the only requirement is that the plant is in a fixed location and you can see it daily. Simply acknowledge/adopt it as your mindfulness partner.
 
Dedicate some time (say 60 seconds) to really look at your plant, like you’ve seen it for the first time. What colours, lights and shades are present? It’s shape, height, texture? Does it have a smell? What type of plant is this? Are there leaves, flowers and fruits? What is it used for? How did the plant get here? Any feelings evoked in you when you see or think of the plant? From now on, you don’t have to use these parameters again. 
 
Daily, just spend some time (say 30 seconds) and pay complete attention to your plant. Don’t judge the plant, nor yourself. Simple accept each thought, feeling or sensation that arises and observe your curiosity and openness. 
 
Ask yourself how you can (like when you’re observing your plant) also give immediate focus to any experience you are in, right here, right now. It may seem difficult at first but start simply - from your plant, to an experience like opening and closing the door, to listening intently to a friend’s conversation, to seeing a person walk by, to drinking some water, to an intake and exhale of your breath… keep going and yes, love that plant.
 
 
Suggested reading - Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays

I am the only person in the world
I should like to know thoroughly.

- Oscar Wilde