6. Soft downy pillows to rest my head on.
And my leg. I can't tell you how weary I was last night. I crawled into bed, and my head touched the softest of pillows, and I was asleep. Forgetting to take my tablets did not help. One of my boom or bust days. Boom AND bust.
So today started really late. My body did not feel the need to wake till the sun was quite high in the sky. Suited me just fine. I ache in places I didn't realise could ache. So, instead of making my way to the nearest couch clutching my book, I went for a walk. I always assume that more exercise will improve things. Oil the creaks. My assumptions may well be wrong. Admitting I am wrong goes against the grain. Mothers are always right. Just ask my kids.
But there is always a plus side.
On my walk, however, because there was not a soul about, I had the opportunity to be still and just listen. First to my breathing, and then to the sounds all around me. Water trickling, birds chirping, leaves rustling, branches swaying. The longer I stood there, the clearer and more distinct the sounds became. And more and more sounds became audible. Sounds I would never have heard if I had not been still and taking note. I heard the wind whispering. I heard the leaves falling. It was unimaginably beautiful.
Listening is an art. Sometimes, I hear the voice, but don't focus on the words, never mind the emotions or meanings behind them. Being fully attentive seems to require too much energy or skill when I am doing 5 things at the same time. Simple focus. That is all it is. Not doing the 5 things at the same time. Turning to face the person speaking to you, and looking directly at them, and paying 100% attention. Try it. You will see what a huge difference it makes.
This morning, I tried just listening to the world around me. It was a revelation. This, then, is being mindful. There is no such thing as silence really. I am sitting here, and apart from the obvious sound of my fingers flying over the keyboard, there is a clock ticking. Cars passing in the distance, the sound of me breathing, faint voices, the bark of a dog. The hum of the computer. Life.
It is a wonderful thing.