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On Mindfulness

A few weeks ago, a friend shared his frustrations with life’s distractions as he was attempting a mindful moment with his son. He posed a question: what’s the access to mindfulness?

I read once that a tip for mindfulness is to savor your food. Limit your distractions and notice the taste, smell, texture and experience of the meal in front of you. Back on land I’d never been patient enough to take 10 minutes to do that. I’d find myself deflated that it could take me an hour to produce a solid meal only to have it vanish in a few minutes.

You know what has been a good kickstarter for mindfulness?

Scarcity.

When you know you only get half an inch of Trader Joe’s organic milk chocolate truffle every few days because you are doing your best to make that bar last. There’s two other bars somewhere in the boat, but that’s not the point. You have no income and no foreseeable replacement for that exact type of chocolate so there’s no room for gluttony. It’s with this in mind that when you get your tiny morsel of love you don’t chomp on it… what are you a savage? You bite into it like a 1950’s debutant at a tea party, not out of a need to be proper but out of a desire to make this moment last. You close your eyes and in this moment there’s nothing but you and that bite size piece of awesomeness, melting in your mouth, making your heart sing.

And I know it’s not just me having this epiphany. Watching Andy gently consume the very last crispy, buttery, chocolate chip sandwich cookie he’d been saving (his all-time favorite) – ever so slowly, with his eyes closed, tiny bites and a gentle smile –  I see he gets this too. Mind you this is a man who’s been known to devour an 8-ounce jar of Nutella with a spoon in one sitting.

I know my time on Earth is limited, every experience is fleeing, every encounter unrepeatable, that I must cherish each moment like it’s my last…yadda yadda yadda, but have I ever embraced this like its true? Hell, no. So why now? Has this spark of “wisdom” suddenly become clear because scarcity has become tangible? This sweet deliciousness in my hand staring back at me at a third of its size, like a sad punch card with holes where goodness used to be.

Maybe.

But what do I know? I’m just a salty sailor out at sea with nothing but hopes and dreams.

And a too-small supply of chocolate.

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