When we were younger, we could get away with a lot more, but sooner or later, the body will insist we pay better attention to it. Ignoring symptoms usually does not make them go away. Paying attention to your body while moving in space is equally called for, especially when you notice that with advancing age, your balance is compromised, like on a slippery surface or while shoveling snow.
I had my wake-up call one day while walking down the steps from my second floor. Besides being steep, the stairs also were a bit slippery in my stockinged feet. I carried a tray full of plates and a glass, and when I got to the fifth-from-the-bottom step, I found myself suddenly airborne. The plates and glasses smashed all around me while I plunged forward, headed (literally) for the glass door. It must have been divine intervention that kept me from serious injury, just a little shock and some bruising on the arm that broke the fall. I revisit that scene from time to time, reminding myself to stay present and watchful when using the steps, to concentrate on one thing at a time.
You, too, probably can think of an instance, or several, when you were distracted, not watching where you were going, and had a serious incident or a “near miss.” In those scary times, we may decide it’s best to learn from past mistakes, taking better care and to replace multitasking with focusing on one thing at a time.
Beyond awareness of our bodies, we can benefit by carrying mindfulness into our thoughts, our emotions, our words, our motives, our actions and our spiritual lives.
The practice of mindfulness has three prerequisites:
the courage to feel and experience each moment as it comes up
kindness and compassion for what you may discover within yourself
a willingness to regularly apply this practice
Here and now may be the perfect time for you to begin this practice.
Angelena Craig of Newburyport teaches Wellness Workshops, Kripalu Slow Flow Yoga, and “Sit Down and Move” classes to boomers and beyond. Visit her website at www.thenewagingmovement.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.