Last night when I got out of my late class, there was this amazing sunset in the sky. I noticed it briefly, but I didn’t look twice. I continued to walk with my mind set on getting to where I was going. While I walked I thought about the homework and laundry I had to do, and I tried calling my dad. Our commutes, whether it’s walking, driving or riding a train have become the time for us to get things done. Everyone on campus walks with their heads tilted over their phones or pressed to their ear (I’m guilty of this too) because time is precious, and we’re all busy people. Then, a thought popped into my mind. Be mindful. I had an extremely stressful start to my week, and at least three different people have told me to be mindful. So I stopped to appreciate the sunset, grabbed some pictures of it, and then continued to walk back to my dorm.
Last semester I took a class called “Writing Happiness.” Mindfulness was one of our big themes. A book we read and did exercises from was Thich Nhat Hanh’s Happiness. Last night I was reminded of one of the exercises that we did, which I particularly liked. It’s called walking meditation. Whether it’s your walking commute or you choose to go on a walk, it’s a very effective way to refocus. You concentrate on your breathing and nothing else. You’re not listening to music or scrolling through Instagram. I find when I do this I arrive at my destination a lot more relaxed and I appreciate my environment more like I was able to last night.