I was walking and listening to my current favorite podcast, Earth Tribe Radio. Fiona and Jill are wonderfully wacky ladies who make my walks terribly interesting. I started listening to them because they had an episode about how cats are psychic. You know that got my attention!
The particular episode that inspired today’s post was about meditation and mindfulness. They often bring up an idea that sparks something for me to mull over while I walk and, in this episode, it was when Fiona suggested that another word to use when considering this concept is “awareness.” They expanded on that thought, talking about finding little moments throughout the day to be mindful rather than having dogmatic expectations about when and how someone should meditate.
Fiona presented her technique of “stop, drop, and go” that involves just taking a moment to appreciate what is going on around you and then continuing with what you are doing. Jill shared a similar technique where you exhale and then intentionally pause for a moment before inhaling. While she was describing this, the term that sprang to my mind was “mind the gap.”
I know that is not what the original “mind the gap” is about, but I think this is an effective appropriation of familiar aphorism. Why not use “mind the gap” as a mindfulness prompt? Don’t you think that it would make a great slogan for a t-shirt or a wrist tattoo?
Minding the gap is using that pause as a moment of awareness. I like the idea of using moments of interest throughout your day to be present. I mean, I can’t be completely tuned in to everything all day long, I’d never get anything done! Being open to taking moments to notice wonderful, little things here and there though can be enough to create a sense of calmness, of centeredness, of connectedness.
As I was contemplating “mind the gap” as an awareness practice, I noticed this very interesting rock and had to stop.
My initial reaction was that I wanted to grab it. But why did I feel the need to possess this interesting rock? I mean, I like a magic rock as much as the next girl, but I also try to respect the sovereignty of objects out in the world. When I notice a beautiful flower, I take a photo rather than picking it. Why shouldn’t I show this rock the same respect? I refrained from picking up the rock but did stop and take a photo of it.
And then I was on my way. I had minded the gap, given this rock some attention, and returned to my business.
We don’t have to change our path or our intention every time something catches our attention. We also don’t have to go through our lives with blinders on to all the fascinating things around us. If we mind the gap, we can enjoy those small moments of appreciation without getting sidetracked.
5 Replies to “Mind the Gap”
This is such a timely post, Cynthia, I’ve been having a difficult time with focus/concentration lately, and I’m going to start incorporating these tips and the phrase. Thank you!
It would be a great book title. Just saying…
Mind the Gap – A Mindfulness Guide for Distracted People
AND…..it keeps you from falling into the rail when you get on and off the underground in London !
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