- Spend 3 minutes at various times during the day becoming acutely aware of every physical movement you make and noticing what happens as you do. This morning I did this in the kitchen while making breakfast. Every time I picked something up – a knife, a plate, a pan and every time I touched something – the door of the refrigerator, a tap – I focused in on the immediate experience of it. What it felt like, how I felt as I made contact. No analysis, no stories, just pure immediate physical sensation moment by moment. Sure it slows down the process of getting breakfast, so if you are in a hurry you might need to slow down. It will cost you an extra minute or two in every three but what you’ll be amazed at what you gain.
- Hold your tooth brush in your non-dominant hand as you brush and notice what happens. Again it will take a little more time but will bring a lot more awareness to the process. Follow the rules – no analysis, no stories, just pure awareness moment to moment. Try it while shaving too. A little more edgy and it works even better to bring you into the moment.
- Noticing people. We all people watch. Don’t stop but try it differently. Most time we look at someone and immediately start the mental stories going about the person, notice it and stop. Instead try to just look at someone with complete openness – no story. Just notice the person and experience the noticing.
- Change your driving habits. A self awareness exercise that is also good for road rage. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes to get where you are going and drive slower or take a different route. Notice what happens. Be particularly aware of your feelings and sensations in your body as you deliberately slow down, take more time to be present to the act of driving, and notice more things along the way. Some folks find this one difficult. If you do, it was meant for you.
- Spend a day when you give a deliberate and full and appropriate greeting to every person in your life that you come in contact with for the first time that day. As self awareness exercises go, this one is tough but try it anyway. If it’s a stranger it might be a smile and a “hello”. A co-worker might get a handshake or a pat on the back with a smile and greeting. (Physical contact is preferred if it is appropriate). A friend or relative might get a hug and genuine wish for a good day. Remember “deliberate, full and appropriate” are the keywords here. Notice what happens – particularly to you but also to them. No explanations needed, not stories and no analysis – just noticing.