Mindfulness Training – Week 3 Progress Update – At the Airport

Chennai International Airport welcomes you to another episode of ‘Mindfulness Training’ 🙂 – I am writing this at the airport before taking my Emirates flight to Geneva.

This week has been extremely busy, a week where being mindful would have benefitted me a lot. However, the outcome has been mixed bag – I missed doing PQ reps one day – So, I got 6 out 7 for the last week. In the rest of the 6 days, I have had some great days, really mindful, calm, energized and positive. And a few other days where I was constantly thinking about the past or the future, distracted, trying to do PQ reps to bring me back to the present and feeling the stress in my body.

These kind of days are not new to me, especially when there is travel involved and multiple deadlines come to me at once – leaving me scrambling between different things. But this time, there was a huge difference – I was aware of my thoughts and my body. I could feel the various sensations in my body. I could observe that my mind was often taking me out of the present into the future – So, I have had many flights last week 🙂 – flights of imagination, of course.

This week, I understood the importance of the body in being mindful. If my body is agitated or in discomfort, it won’t be easy for my mind to be mindful and calm. And also, no matter how much one learns about this wonder called our body, there is more to learn – I was observing my body and the various signals it was giving in the form of heat, pain, swelling, discomfort, trying to understand what my body is trying to communicate to me. In my acupuncture course, I have learnt that our body is trying to talk to us all the time – telling us what it needs and what we should avoid. But often, we are completely unaware of this communication. Even after a few years of training and practice now, it is not easy for me to pinpoint to the exact issue. But as always, there were a number of pointers to what could be causing the problem.

I suppose that it all started last week when I had a marathon 24+ hrs of non-stop activity. When we lose sleep, a lot of things are affected in our body and sometimes, the recovery could take a lot of time. I felt the high heat in my body throughout the week. Given that my schedule had a lot more reactive activities this week, it also added to the high body heat. Normally, I take a snooze for 15-20 minutes during the afternoon so that it would reset my CPU and make me feel fresh. But this week I skipped it and also I went to sleep late on most days (late compared to my routine, but it could still be very early for many of you 🙂 )

I woke up to the alarm on all days except today. I learnt the art of waking up without the alarm from my Acupuncture teacher – what a beautiful way to start the day! But your body and mind has to be in a state of balance for this to happen. We can’t force our body to wake up without alarm. When I force my body to wake up with the alarm, the first feeling is often shock as I am in deep sleep. And I hit the convenient snooze button a few times – these snooze sessions rarely refresh, rather they deplete. So, when I get up finally, my body does not really want me to get up. This is not a great way to start the day. And the mind chatter begins almost immediately, leading to the feeling of stress at the beginning of the day itself. So, I did not have enough sleep to catch up for the sleep deficit caused last week.

In situations like this, digestion is affected. So, if I had eaten very lightly, it would have been better for me. I tried to do it, but somedays I failed. During days like this, I feel that I am not really in control of my mind or body – I do the very thing that I know will cause me more discomfort like eating to fill, working without rest, etc. So, I had a swelling inside my mouth, which pained each time water touched that portion. Given that I have to do ablution many times in the day to perform my prayers, I got many reminders that I needed to do something about it.

What I did was to turn to the source of all strength – the One who always answers the calls of the one in distress. I tried to do PQ reps as often as I could and I did not even keep track of counting to 100 as I wanted to be mindful in all my activities.

On Thursday, I felt the highest discomfort in my body. On that evening, we had started a new routine with our kids – Family Feedback Time. So, each one took turns giving feedback about one thing they liked and one thing they did not like in each person. I was quite surprised to hear that I was perceived as very calm and very positive that day, despite that day being a hard day and I could feel it in my body. So, mindfulness did really help – Thank God for the guidance.

Today is a beautiful day – I woke up so fresh, well before the alarm rang. Even though I slept late yesterday, after having done all the packing and winding up activities for the travel. This feeling of waking up before the alarm rings is such a beautiful feeling that I can’t describe easily. It is something like how sunrise or sunset happens – it is gradual. I gain consciousness almost in layers. And the first thought in my mind was of gratefulness to the Almighty for turning around my week, just before a long travel. And I also felt a strong desire to listen to the Quran and what a beautiful way to start the day.

With that note, I end this update and see you next week, God willing.


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