Our school district has the entire week off for Thanksgiving Break (insert fireworks and cheering crowds here).  But there’s still work to be done.  Yesterday, for example, I spent eight hours cleaning my garage.  This morning, however, I was able to take some time to be Mindful and appreciate the small moments in my life.  

It looked like this:

1.  I could have justified sleeping in, but I continued my daily 5 a.m. walk.  The benefits are just so profound, so Zen.  I walk under the stars in silence, I pray, I look at the setting moon, I watch bunnies scampering for cover when I approach, and I get exercise that normally would require an Act of Congress.

2. After returning from my walk, I took a hot shower. I am very grateful, on this day before Thanksgiving, for luxuries like a hot shower. Instead of taking it for granted, I paid attention to it and appreciated how good it felt, realizing that not everybody is so lucky. 

3. I created. I wrote a full essay for The Zen Teacher book I’m working on. Writing (or any type of creative project) forces me to stop, notice, and be present, clear, and specific. 

4. Before anyone else in the house was yet awake, I sat in our backyard. With coffee. And as I sipped my hot decaf with Hazelnut creamer, I looked at the trees, enjoyed the roses, listened to the birdsong, and focused on my breathing.

5.  After some business calls, I called up a playlist on my phone and listened to music (Joe Cocker, The Beatles, Paul Simon, and U2). Did nothing else. Just listened to the music.

This was all before 11:30 a.m., which meant I still had time to be with my family, wash dishes, and straighten my room.  It’s about balance.  Do some work, pay attention. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.  Great, now I want another hot shower. TZT

*My apologies to The Bangles