The mind is a creature of habit – without new stimulation it falls back into old patterns and mindlessness. Without effort, we spend most of our waking time reliving the past, making plans for the future, or simply daydreaming. We have only this moment, yet we find it so hard to actually live here. The practice of mindfulness is the practice of living in the present. But it can be hard to incorporate mindfulness into your life. Enter How to Train a Wild Elephant.
This is a handbook of 53 mindfulness exercises, one for each week of the year. When I was doing a weekly mindfulness group, we would pick an exercise for each week and then report back the next week on how it went and what we learned. It’s so useful to have a fresh exercise each week to prevent the mind from falling back into old habits. I bought this book to provide that incentive to keep up my practice. I plan to go through the book in order, doing one exercise each week. I don’t have a group to report back to, so I’ll be journaling my experience right here. It would be awesome if others joined me and shared their experiences as well.
So here is the first exercise:
“Use your nondominant hand for some ordinary tasks each day.”