Are you in or out?
This is where I have recently been staying….the location is a very small village…Bogliaco, which sits literally on the banks of Lake Garda. The “look” is totally authentic, the tiny hotel is family run, with distant cousins appearing to help with table clearing, bed making and hospitality during busy weekends.
The lake laps soothingly, and the sun enables it to salsa with the soft breeze, and in the few minutes between dusk and darkness the snow, stuck in grooves and crevices depicting the aftermath of winter twinkles and beckons from across the lake. Smells of jasmine, geranium, and wisteria intermingle and could make a beautiful fresh addition to the Jo Malone range. As the first Prossecco gentle hits the pre-dinner tummy it relieves the slight aching calf muscle from the exertion of walking further and further to explore the day.
The mind wonders why I have never experienced Italy before…how could it have escaped me, eluded me for so long? Then the mind moves on to ponder why I have spent many holidays in far flung captivating places that cannot be matched to this in sheer perfection.
We are on a tour, a new experience, and we have travelled by rail from London, stopping off in Switzerland enroute to Italy. There is so, so much to captivate attention all around me, the senses are literally bombarded and invaded with it all. And yet the mind with so much serenity encasing it, is ever so slightly pulled away from such a beautiful place….news of the unrest in France has reached us. The 18th century thick stone walls are unbelievably very compatible with wi-fi!
And so before I know it my mind has bounced, gathered pace and speed and is very busy working out how to solve the, (potential) problem, of how we are going to get home via a long rail journey through France. It takes me a while to realise where my mind is…concocting, problem fixing, worrying and generally creating chaos, and a very, very long away from the present moment…what a waste!
Mindfulness helps us to focus more readily in the present moment, it also delivers a powerful process to help us become more aware of our “mind patterns”, so that we are less likely to be drawn into the web of automatic pilot and instead live more in the moment.
Some of us spend a lot of time constructing a perfect outside landscape for our life…the job we desire, the home of our dreams, a support network of friends and companions, travelling the world, and yet we are far less likely to spend any time paying attention to our inside landscape of the mind. And yet without this solid internal infrastructure, the external is meaningless to us, as we have no space or capacity for it and the potential of life that if offers.
Starting to notice whether your priority is predominantly inside landscape or outside landscape is a first step into being more mindful.
PS There is an early bird discount to the 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme that I will be running in September.
PPS In case you are wondering…we got safely home, bang on time and even managed to secure a free upgrade on Eurostar…so on reflection…..what on earth was I so worried out?