This past Sunday, my hubby and I went to the Spa Finlandais for the day; a gift received from our three amazing boys. The day was superb. The environment rejuvenating. I WISH I had pictures!!!
You see, I had made a deal with myself to treat this day as a day-long meditation. It was perfect because as soon as you walk into the spa, there are signs everywhere asking for silence, or asking you to whisper. An excellent start. Silence enables me to think more clearly, and to de-clutter the mind of emotions and feelings. Like I said, the silence was a perfect start! Another part of my deal was that I would be disconnected from my phone and social media, and take no pictures at all, not one. I was to photograph each moment, each scene, in my head.
I share the beauty of being present with clients, so I thought it was only fitting that I attempt the experience for a day. I’m here to report that being present is difficult; and that staying present for an extended period of time, even MORE so!
Firstly, the challenge we all experience (but don’t all admit to) is the addiction to our smart phones. From the moment we walked into the outdoor hot tubs, steam rising into the -15 degree winter air, waterfalls cascading behind us as we sat with our faces in the sun … all I kept thinking for the first little while is that this would make an amazing photo. Until we got up, went to the next spot and I had the same thought… this would really make a fabulous photo. Just to send to my boys of course… one picture, just to thank them. My phone was packed away in my beach bag, but I did not touch it. Not one photo was taken. Why so hard? Why the need to share? Each time I thought of capturing the moment with my phone’s camera, I took a few deep breaths and captured the moment fully, in my conscious mind. I can see each moment, and feel them as I write. Perhaps even more than had I ran to take a photo.
Second, is the well-known and often talked about challenge of meditation; of stopping the mind NOT from all thoughts, but stopping the mind from running back into the past, or worrying about the imagined events in the future. The challenge of continuously bringing the mind back to the experience of the present moment. Whether it be joy or sorrow, being in the moment allows us to feel deeply and connect to whatever emotion we are feeling. They say on average, a human being can have 50,000-60,000 thoughts per day, so it’s normal that we can’t just think of nothing. The mind needs something to focus on. And that is why my day at the spa was so interesting. Yes my mind kept wandering. It went to the day before and it went to the day after. I noticed; and then I brought it back to the moment I was in; the eucalyptus infused aroma in one of the burning hot saunas; I breathed it in deeply and fully and loved it; the feeling of the cold air hitting my body as I walked out of the steaming hot tubs; I noticed it with all my mind, and observed that it wasn’t that bad at all; the warmth of the fire roaring in one of the outdoor fire pits as I huddled close to it; scrumptious.
I am convinced that I remember those feelings so vividly, because I went out of my way to focus and to register each of those moments. The next time you’re in a situation where you run to grab your phone or camera, stop and ask yourself if you could possibly capture the moment in your minds eye. You may be surprised by how sharp the focus is, and how much more fulfilling the experience is.
PS The photo at the top of this post is from the Finlandais. Proof that if you really want a digital photo, you can always Google it ♥