Do you ever find yourself daydreaming and then suddenly snap out of it and think “Oh now where was I? what was I doing?” Have you also noticed that sometimes daydreaming feels like you have been far far away?
Were you a daydreamer as a kid? Did you ever have the teacher coming up and clapping their hands in front of your face telling you to pay attention to what was going on in the classroom? I know I did.
I used to love daydreaming. It was this wonderful activity where I could go anywhere and imagine anything and generally just be. I remember it was always a very relaxing place to be for me.
It was also a place to go to as a nice escape from the humdrum that was around me, particularly when I was younger. It was a fabulous escape from the Sunday dinner table as a kid, when the adults were just babbling on about something that I had no interest in.
And then there was always some killjoy, sometimes a brother or sister who could see you had quietly escaped the boredom. Or someone else who wanted your attention right in that moment. They felt they had the right to snap you out of where you were and bring you back to where they were. How rude!!
Whatever the case, when we’re daydreaming, we’re usually doing it with our eyes open. Maybe that’s why it’s called ‘day’ dreaming, who knows?
When we are in that daydreaming state our gaze is softened. This means we are not focused on a specific object per se but we are just allowing our eyes to stay gently open. In this state we are aware of our surroundings in general.
What I have discovered is that we actually SEE a lot more when our gaze is softened. We can see out of our peripheral vision as well as what’s ahead of us. Our attention can be given to our wider environment equally.
I am now incorporating this technique into my daily mindfulness practice as a way of being in the present moment. I am not allowing my brain to take me off on a journey somewhere, but rather not thinking at all and just gently observing the entirety of my environment that is within my vision. And what I am noticing is I’m able to see more than when I have something in sharp focus.
The other day I was doing this when I was sitting outside and it was gently raining. What I noticed and what I enjoyed, was seeing the heads of grass bobbing gently all around me as the rain was landing on it. It really was beautiful to see. And I know if I had my eyes sharply focused I wouldn’t have seen any rain at all.
If you need a reminder to visit and explore the present moment, visit my shop and look at the NOW watch. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how it can bring more mindfulness into your day.