Chapter 114: Mindfulness hurts

– Jane please start practicing mindfulness.

– Mindfulness?

– Meaning start giving your undivided attention to whatever you are doing right now as opposed to living in the past or in the future.

– How am I supposed to practice mindfulness Coco?

– Re-read The Pilgrimage by Paolo Coelho. The Speed Exercise would be a good practice.

The Speed Exercise by Paolo Coelho makes you walk a certain well known distance (or may be any distance) twice as slow as normal, while paying attention to details, people and surroundings. So here I go. Normally I walk to work every day and it takes me 20 minutes one way. Today I go twice as slow. And you would not believe it – but it … hurts. It literally hurts. Moving so slow hurts! My legs want to run, but no, I have to go slow. My solar plexus burns. With hurting solar plexus I start paying attention to details, surroundings and … people. But you know what happens when you walk twice as slow? Guess… Ok. People start paying attention to you. When you walk fast – you can just outrun them. Just run away from their attention. You can chose not to look at somebody, just run past a person. But not while you are walking slow. Moving along somebody in a snail tempo without looking at this person at least once is awkward and it hurts! Oh it hurts! This attention hurts! Mindfulness hurts. It feels like jumping into hot water or like eating three peppers spicy food.

“Repeat this exercise until you feel comfortable being mindful” – I hear Coco’s voice in my head. I am sure this is what she will say once she reads this post.

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