Mindfulness in Paris

October 22, 2019

Paris is beautiful, busy, and loud, full of working residents, families, and university students along with wandering and curious tourists, who are eating croissants, drinking wine, seeing the sites, and snapping lots of pics.  I know this because recently, I was one of those wandering, eating, and drinking tourists.  It’s a city full of life!

Just like Paris, life can be busy and loud, full of people wandering around who are curious, working, studying, and simply living.

In the middle of the loudness, is it possible to settle into the moment and experience stillness and peace?  Yes! 

Busyness and noise are a part of life, and so is quiet, attention, and space for contemplation.   One does not mutually exclude the other.

Whether you’re standing in line at a coffee shop, sitting at your desk, walking to your next class, running on the treadmill, or driving to work, you can take a moment to live in the moment.  To do so, deeply breathe in from your diaphragm to your chest, hold for several seconds, exhale through your mouth, hold for several seconds, then take another deep breath in.  Repeat these steps, and let your mind come to stillness.  When a thought enters your mind or you notice something around you, welcome it, and return to your breath.  Do this for as long as you wish.

The benefit of having mindful presence in the middle of a busy life is that it frees you to live in the present moment, embracing the fullness of life, staying curious about it, breathing in what you need or desire and breathing out what isn’t helpful.

Practicing mindfulness isn’t about finding a special place to be quiet—though there’s nothing wrong with that.  Rather, it’s about being fully alive right where you are—whether it’s on your commute, at your job, in the carpool line, or even in Paris.  Live in and embrace the present moment!

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