Imagine you are boarding the MTR on your way to work. You step through the doors, find a seat and quickly drift off to Your Other Place. Daydreaming of social occasions or hoped-for encounters. Perhaps you venture deeper into the recesses of your mind, conjuring scenarios of career advancement or worlds as yet unconquered. By the time you reach your stop, you have no recollection of your physical passage, merely your mental meanderings.
Idle moments such of these, however boring or commonplace they may at first appear, are no less significant than our more visceral day-to-day experiences. Moments of love, of joy, despair, fear, monotony and ennui – they all have some import in the wider scheme of things. By letting past or future preoccupation have undue sway in our head space, dominating our daily lives, we run the risk of letting precious moments pass us by, unmarked and irrecoverable.
In a world of distractions, it is sometimes right to just stop and be of the moment. Put down the smartphone and breathe. Take in your surroundings. Take note of everything you see, smell, hear and feel.
Mindfulness exercises are helpful tools when it comes to relaxing, de-stressing and putting things into perspective. To start, simply focus on an object – maybe a flower or the moon – for just a couple of minutes. Consider this object as though you were a child seeing the ocean for the very first time. Clear your head. Focus on seeing rather than thinking.
Music can also provide a useful consciousness exercise. Put on headphones and immerse yourself in a song, free from any background distractions. For those who have been feeling down, take time out each day to list five things or people in your life that you truly appreciate.
Let each moment have value. Let each day of your life become an opportunity to learn, experience and feel something new. The power to change and evolve lies within. Stop thinking that life begins with the next promotion, the next vacation or the purchase of that new house or car. Your life is happening right now. Don’t miss a minute.