In one of our spiritual classes, we learn about the benefits of mindfulness. It’s a practice that applies not only during meditation, but also in our practical, daily lives. To see clearly what is before you… preferably without attachment or judgment… to objectively see “what is.”
I was gifted this experience most profoundly while caring for my infant grandson. He finally fell asleep by my side as we rested on a comfortable chaise near a sunlit window. At first I occupied my busy mind with mundane electronic games to pass the time until he would eventually awake. Then his baby snores caught my attention and focus. His steady breathing, the fresh baby smell at the top of his head, the touch of his little hand on my arm…all these gave me clarity to see the gift we were to each other in that moment, just by being aware of his presence in my life. Time stood still and silent.
I thought, “If today was my last day of life, this is how I would choose to spend part of it… in such a moment as this.” It was clear to me that I would choose to fill up my final hours with the joy of being alive and being with those I love… to be gifts to one another.
As we cuddled in the quiet, my mind moved on to other ways I would spend my last day in this physical realm… chatting with granddaughters about their school days and dreams… discussing with my sons and daughters the meaning of life, the importance of love, and encouraging them to always seek spiritual and personal growth… sending out one more message to all my family and friends about how wonderful they are and how much they add to my life… taking a walk in my neighborhood in the cool of the day… pointing out where all the important papers are… playing the piano… giving away cherished items… playing tug-of-war with my dog… and having dinner with my husband, teasing and laughing together as we often do, sharing one last embrace as the sun goes down and the moon rises…
Not once did I think of extravagant trips to far-away lands or daredevil acts to perform. There was no fear or sadness. There was no place else I thought of going…only “being” in that moment next to this little soul. Only feeling love and wonder! It is forever etched in my mind and heart.
The greatest awareness of this experience is realizing I am already doing these things. I choose to do something every day to fully express my joy and gratitude in being alive… in connecting with Life. While I am not anxious to leave this physical realm any earlier than necessary, I am content with my existence and purpose, and with the person I have become, knowing my evolution is not yet complete… nor will it ever be. And, yes, I am now more mindful… more loving… more grateful… more aware… more Spirit.