When I first started practising Mindfulness, I heard from many people that the best time to do it is first thing in the morning. I also heard that some people actually
got up an hour earlier to allow for the practice. That scared me a bit as I am not really a morning person, and so the idea of getting up even earlier than normal did not appeal to me. I thought it would be better for me to pause when I had a break between clients, or meetings, and allow some time away from daily tasks.
This was not great for me, because as the day goes on I find less and less time to consciously put a break into my diary. I did practice, but it felt rather scatty. I always enjoyed it, but actually putting time aside when my to-do list was a mile long was not easy, and it felt like I was putting extra pressure on myself, and if I didn’t practice I was beating myself up. I came to a conclusion that this was exactly the opposite to what the purpose of Mindfulness was!
And then one day I realised that I didn’t feel great, with my mind racing with hundreds of things to do and I allowed myself to pause. This really helped in a matter of minutes. I noticed my breathing slowed down, my mind became clearer, and whatever I was worried about actually became a much more manageable challenge than before. And that’s when I realised I was being mindful at the time that was right for me. It really didn’t matter what others did, I was really pleased with myself that I paused when I needed to, which kind of meant to me that I had become aware of what was happening to me, and what I needed to do.
And this is what I now say to everyone: find your own time, it may be 5 times a day one day, and only once another day. Take that time out when you need it. And then it just feels right…