Yesterday I played American Football for the first time in my life. I am not sure how I avoided it for so long. Although football is an all male sport, flag football (no tackling) makes it a fun co-ed game!
The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.
As we played in the cold fall weather all I thought about was playing football. I am not as physically active as I should be and often my activity is endurance walking or something in the gym by myself, an activity that allows my mind to wander all over the place. When training as an endurance walker I spend hours walking and lost in thought or conversation about anything and everything that comes to mind. It has been a while since I played a physical game and need to be in the moment to participate. There is a mindfulness that is peeked with the possibility of a ball being thrown at you.
There is an aspect to sports that is a great reminder to what true mindfulness feels like. While out on the field with 30 or so other co-workers I was completely absorbed into the game and having fun with my new and old friends. We were goofballs enjoying the event without concern about our work projects, making professional connections, or truly impressing others with my skills on the field. But there was a complete commitment to enjoying the game and having fun.
Mindfulness is about committing to the game, to the process, to the event, to the experience…to whatever is happening in the moment. Mindfulness is facilitated by an allowing of one to be present in spite of any other pending issues or concerns. Mindfulness is about freeing oneself in that moment to fully engage in a single activity and letting go of all the others. I found the game to be a really fun and refreshing mental break from work, being a mom, being a girlfriend, and fulfilling all the other roles of my life…in that moment I was a football player.
Today’s Simple Mindfulness Igniter is to engage in a game that requires concentration on the game and fun with others. This week is Thanksgiving, is there a neighborhood or family Turkey Bowl in your future, or could there be? Just like it was fun to get out and just play with my co-workers it might be a great change of pace to just play with your family. When was the last time you all just played a fun and engaging game? Maybe instead of football it is go carts, basketball, laser tag or soccer. Or maybe it is getting out and giving back to your community as a group.
For those taking part in the Mindfully Living in the Moment Challenge consider your new mindfulness habit and the concept of play and full engagement. Are you enjoying your new habit? Is there an aspect of your habit that makes it fun and/or fully engaging? As you know I believe in maintaining your habit although being open to adjusting it slightly to allow for it to be fully adapted into your life. With your new mindfulness habit, how do you experience full engagement? Is there a way to adapt it slightly so you will be more fully engaged or enjoying it more?
My mindfulness habit is to fully engage in conversation, one way I could incorporate this concept of play is to challenge myself to learn something more about the person I am speaking with to discover and explore our connection points and to laugh more. Although not every conversation lends themselves to moments of laughter, most do. Being one that can foster laughter is a special gift. Laughter is not always about being funny; it is more about finding the humor of a situation and being happy. I might blog more about this at another time.