The Year of Yes, ep. 8: YES to MINDFUL SHOWERING.

  Photo credit: Markus Spiske

Photo credit: Markus Spiske

You may be rolling your eyes right now. Like, what? Try to stay with me for a few minutes.

There’s usually only one time of day when you’re free of everything but yourself - no stuff, kids, pets, devices, other people - and that’s in the shower. What if you could take that precious alone time and make it even more special by adding a little meditation into your day?

I’ve been practicing mindful showering for a few weeks now and it’s become one of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness. Why? Because it’s a routine task during which we’re often lost in thought and don’t have much else to distract us.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Start with your “beginner’s mind” by just noticing what’s going on. Observe your actions - the removal of your clothing, pulling back on the curtain or shower door, turning on the water, finding the correct temperature. Take note of the water itself - its temperature, sound, wetness. Isn’t it quite the miracle that warm, clean water comes out of your faucet /shower head whenever you want it?

  2. Once in the shower, open your awareness to the feeling of the warm water on your body. Notice the pressure of the water flow, how does it feel? Hold the soap in your hands, notice how slick it gets, how it smells, how it feels on your skin. Feel the shampoo and how it foams up, feel the pressure of your fingers on your scalp.

  3. Every time your mind wanders off - and it will many times, perhaps to your to-do list, or the time (I’m in a rush!), or something that happened yesterday, or whatever else - bring it gently back to the present, to the physical sensations of the warm water on your body and the weight of your feet on the tub floor. Is there any place you can be but right here, right now?

  4. As you towel off, feel the towel's texture, how it soaks up the water, and how it gently scrubs your skin.

  5. Finally, observe the difference paying attention makes on this everyday experience you just had.


 

The practice of mindful showering (or eating, or brushing your teeth, or walking...) is not about thinking, but rather just about awareness of what's going on. On the outset, the practice may seem silly, even boring. However, the more you practice everyday activity mindfulness, the more your mind will start to notice the textures of life, the emotions that come up in your body, and the fact that your thoughts are just thoughts, and not reality. If you'd like to learn more, here is a good article about mindfulness practice for beginners

By practicing presence and mindful awareness in the shower, you can get your daily meditation dose in, and get your whole self clean - your body AND your mind. Pretty wonderful, no? ♡

 

The Year of Yes is a weekly photo-and-word installment by Dr. Shah written with the purpose of evoking hope, resilience, and a gentle movement toward healthy change in all of us.