We have long admired Turia Pitt’s resilience, humour, positivity and outlook on life. Here she shares her thoughts on mindfulness as we head in to the holidays.
By Turia Pitt
About two months ago, Hakavai was gifted a secondhand box of lego from a friend of a friend. And he frothed on it. Every morning, for like a solid month (a decade in toddler time), he was playing with his lego.
Initially, I found it annoying.
Have you ever stepped, barefoot, on tiny little lego pieces at 6am, before coffee? Have you ever tried to vacuum around little lego pieces?
(Don’t kid me, you minx. You sucked ‘em straight up into the vacuum, just like I did, didn’t you?!).
But the lego fascination seemed to be a lasting one, so one morning I sat down with him and tried to build something. But I couldn’t, cos none of the sets were complete. And also, he didn’t really want me to play with “his” lego pieces either.
Which suited me fine, cos the next day I drove down to the shops and purchased a shiny new box of lego. The police station set, not anything cool like the Star Wars ones (that sh*t is expensive!!).
And that night, I patiently waited until Hakavai went to sleep before excitedly busting out my new lego. A glass of wine at the ready, I relaxed into a world of tiny, intricate construction.
There was something soothing about following someone else’s instructions, and building the pieces block by block. I got to zone out, unwind, temporarily forget my responsibilities.
That night, I slept not like a baby (they wake up a lot. Very needy to be honest), but like a tiny, plastic policeman – flat on my back, in the same position I dropped down in.
To focus so singularly on a task is a form of mindfulness – a topic I explore inside my new book Happy.
See, for years I really rejected my counsellor’s suggestions when she would recommend mindfulness. It seemed too woo-woo for my engineer brain to really appreciate.
But being mindful doesn’t have to involve crystals and chanting and yoga pants. It’s really about relaxing into the present moment.
And over the years, I’ve discovered I can actively practice mindfulness when I’m surfing, when I’m reading …. and now when I’m playing lego without my kids!
And you? What activity helps you slow down and focus on what’s happening right now, in the present moment?
Maybe you crochet? Maybe you cook. Whatever it is, make some time for it these holidays.
We all need a little stress-reduction right about now!
Now, to figure out how to unclog my vaccum cleaner.