I’ve had a formal meditation practice for some time, but have recently been thinking about how to bring mindfulness to everyday activities, both pleasant and unpleasant. An accessible path for this is getting more familiar with something most of us think of as extremely pleasant – local flowers!
Receiving flowers is an invitation to enjoy the present moment. Why not linger a little longer and use the opportunity for a mindful sensory reflection on the flowers themselves?
Here is a short exercise to use your flowers as a portal to mindfulness.
- Take several minutes to arrive by sitting in a comfortable position that is appropriate for you. Close or lower the gaze with the flower arrangement near you. Focus on being aware of the sensations of sitting in the chair. Become aware of your breath, as you deepen and elongate the inhalation and exhalation.
- Slowly open your eyes and gaze at the flowers. Take in the colors and the textures. How is the light falling onto each bloom? What repeating patterns do you see? What shapes do you see? What do you notice that is subtle or small? Carefully move from one flower to another with curiosity.
- Get closer to the arrangement and breathe in deeply? Are you aware of any fragrance of the flowers? Do all of the flowers have a scent? Only some? Pause and linger, breathing in deeply the scents that appeal most to you.
- Carefully touch the petals of the flowers and note what they feel like. How are they similar or different? Does touching the petals make any sounds?
- Beyond the flowers, look at the greenery in the vase. How would you describe the different foliages and textures? What shape are the leaves and branches? How do they resemble the flowers (or not)?
- Touch the leaves; what do they feel like? Do the leaves have a fragrance?
- How do you feel being in the presence of the flower arrangement? What words would you use to describe the feeling? What does this emotion feel like in the body? Where exactly is it felt in the body?
Close the exercise by feeling gratitude for having these flowers in your life and for the people or person responsible for sharing them with you, including if that person is yourself!