At one point in my life I got really inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings. I guess it was back in 2011, when I first travelled to Ubud in Bali. I am an absolute nerd about books, by the way 🤓 So very soon I stumbled upon Ganesha bookstore and lost the track of time.
I was going through all those exciting new books and suddenly one book literally called me. At that time I had no idea who Thich Nhat Hanh was. But I just followed the call and started reading. He wrote about how to stay present and aware in everyday moments of our lives, like cooking, washing the dishes, enjoying a cup of tea. The book had a tremendous effect on me, I actually experienced what it means to be present in the moment. Funny enough, it’s one of my most pleasant memories 🌸
I loved these tips for staying sane in challenging times from Thich Nhat Hanh:
🌱Guard the morning (and start it gently). Train yourself to begin the day with a few gentle breaths and a smile, 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 even getting out of bed (or checking the phone). Make the vow to live every hour of the day deeply, with compassion.
🌱Savor your tea or coffee, slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves. Follow your breathing, relax the body, look out the window, listen to your heartbeat (this is nothing less than meditation).
🌱Enjoy every step of breakfast-making. Life is made of small moments. There is nowhere to hurry to, nothing to get done. This is it! Enjoy the presence of your loved ones, and the wonder of having enough to eat.
🌱When you’re ready to work, work. Free yourself from distractions, and cultivate one-pointed mind. But don’t forget to take care of your body while at the computer! Set a bell to sound so you can stretch every 30 minutes or so.
🌱Take time to walk in mindfulness. If you can go outside and get in touch with nature, wonderful. If you’re indoors, no problem: you can practice slow walking meditation, a powerful way to release tension and anxiety.
🌱Take a nap after lunch for 20 minutes, or practice deep relaxation (body scan) while lying down. Even just 10 or 15 minutes of releasing tension can set you free and refresh you before you keep working.
🌱Nourish yourself. Nothing can survive without food. Fear, anxiety and despair may be “fed” by what we read, see and hear. Likewise, our compassion, trust and gratitude can be fed by choosing inspiring books, music, audio & conversations.
🌱Sweat every day. In the monastery, monks and nuns have dynamic physical exercise every day. It’s essential to circulate our energy, stay healthy, and release tension and feelings that are stored in every cell of our body.
🌱Reach out to loved ones. Let them know you are there for them. Ask what their deepest hopes and fears are. Write them a love letter. Forgive those who need forgiving. Do not miss this stark opportunity to heal wounded relationships.