It is blueberry picking time here in NE Oklahoma, and there is nothing like it to engage all of your senses- mindfully- while creating a whole experience of Zen-like calm, inner peace, and satisfaction.
Visually, scoping out the perfect size and generous clumps to gently grasp and pick for the perfect handful.
Tastefully testing throughout the process -carefully discerning the perfect amount of ripe sweetness.
Employing touch -just gentle enough to encourage the berry's release from the bush and into the bucket- and at the same time avoiding the sticky spider webs!
A willingness to move, stretch, and squat to reach through the growth and high on the bush to capture that perfect 'clump of three'.
Listening to the birds singing while enjoying being immersed in nature.
And WHY blueberries? I find picking blueberries great example of practicing 'present moment awareness' - transforming a 'job' into a pleasant, calming experience- because I love them and they are a beautiful bounty of nature that are tasty, adaptable, full of anti-oxidants and good for you and your resilience!
Find Your Zen - From Chaos to Calm
So, even if you won't be picking blueberries, here are a few suggestions to 'find your Zen' in your every day tasks and activities- even when things are hectic and you feel like your life is a 'hot mess'.
Notice and admit honestly how you feel: Write in a journal, talk to a trusted friend or partner. You can even talk out loud to your self! Uncover what emotion you are feeling (sadness, anger, frustration, impatience, confusion etc.) and acknowledge it with compassion and non-judgment.
Take one deep breath: a single breath can provide a 'reset' that draws in cleansing energy and dispels stress and negativity. Practice breathing in fully, and breathing out completely right now and see if you notice a palpable shift. Check in with your breath throughout the day. You may be surprised how often you are holding your breath!
Tune into physical sensations: Notice how your body feels- tension, tingling, pain, shaky, anxious- and use your senses to tune into what is happening or what you are doing in the moment. Look, listen, smell, taste, and touch. Move your body to release and move what stress may be 'holding onto you'. Shake, walk, dance, stretch.
Unplug and avoid 'numbing out' with screen time, technology, alcohol, drugs, or food, and do something that nourishes you and calms your system on a deeper level. Take a walk in nature, take a bath, do yoga, meditate, read an enlightening book, get a massage, prepare a nutritious meal for yourself.
Notice 'what's working'- shift to a positive perspective. Even when engaged with a deadline or difficult task at home or work, take a moment to focus on what is moving forward and working well. Take some time at the end of the day to focus on gratitude with appreciation for the health, ease, gifts of the day and your experiences.
Protect your energy and set healthy boundaries. Say YES to what or whom you find meaningful, enjoyable, and fulfilling. Say NO to situations, people and places that feel toxic or zap your energy and zap your ZEN!