The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes has been one of my all time favorites since I was a teen. The author and illustrator, Bill Watterson, really had a way with images and words. One of the strips I’ve enjoyed looking at, and reminds me of this work in mindfulness, is with Calvin and Hobbes walking together in the snow saying, “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
This is so simple, and the mere recognition of this as a practice in daily life could help us drastically reduce our stress levels (and help us be happier).
I’ve had a lot going on recently in my life. As I was sitting next to a pool watching my kids play, my head was swimming with all the future endeavors coming up. In that moment, likely because of my mindfulness practice, I naturally took a deep breath and as I exhaled realized that in this moment I was safe. My kids were playing, and this was a beautiful moment.
In the six-month program, A Course in Mindful Living, I introduce three statements that help deepen our “good moments,” getting those neurons firing in a resilient direction. The next time you notice a good experience say:
- This is a good moment
- In life there are good moments
- Can I allow myself to savor this for a few seconds
When our experiences are deepened, the memories get stamped and are more likely to be recalled in the future. There are many good moments in life, and this is a way of deepening our experience with them and helping the good lead to resiliency in days ahead.
Take some time today and be on the lookout for the good moments, experiment with bringing in these three reflective statements.
As you practice and repeat this, you literally use your mind to change your brain (and your life) for the better.