Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stinky Mindfulness

When I went to take a shit at work today, I decided I was going to quiet my mind and listen to the room.  I'm not totally sure what prompted it, but I think it was because of an awesome "This American Life" episode I remembered from years ago.  I heard the loud hum of fluorescent lights.  I heard some pipes in the wall flexing and rattling.  I heard the autodeoderizer chirping, alerting whoever cared that the canister inside of it needed to be replaced.  Someone in the women's restroom was flushing a toilet; someone in the hallway was getting a drink at the water fountain.

I found this exercise quite rewarding.  I must go in and out of that restroom a million times a day (trying to get enough hydration in my life, you know).  I've never noticed any of those sounds before, ever.  I felt like I was entering uncharted territory; I felt like the john was brand new.  It occurred to me later that I might be practicing a sort of mindfulness.  I made a conscious decision to be present in that moment in that stinky room.  I became aware of a world that goes unnoticed though it is right under my nose.  In order to do these things, I had to shut out conscious thought and make myself still from within and without.  I had to listen.  How else might my world change if I chose to be present, chose to my make myself still and to listen?  The possibilities become numerous.

And if you believe in God/higher power, what better way to thank he/she/it then by taking an inventory of the world he/she/it created for you?  I think that if you do, then that is the first step to creating a world in which we'd all like to live.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me smile, giggle a little, and then nod reflectively and in agreement.