Just last month I was brushing my teeth. This was before I had my morning cup of joe. So I am there “mindlessly” gazing into the mirror, a bit of toothpaste drooling down my right chin, just another morning. Well, the strangest thing happened. Using a soft bristle brush, I tend to press hard when I brush, and all of a sudden, the toothbrush cracks in two. Not sure if it was the sound of the toothbrush breaking or if it was the toothpaste drivel sliding down my face and on my hand – but there I was. And that is the point “I was” – I looked in the mirror, which I had been looking at for the entire first half of my toothbrushing up until them.
Strangely, though I was looking I did not see myself in the mirror. But boy when looking at the mirror, with the brush end of the toothbrush hanging out of my mouth and the handle to the toothbrush firmly in my hand, that was an eye and mouth opener.
So what happened? Well, I essentially missed the first half of my Toothbrushing that morning. Until the “snap” cracking of the toothbrush woke me up. The snapping of the brush opened my eyes to the fact that I was in Zombie mode starting my day. When I saw myself in the mirror, my eyes met my eyes and “saw” myself. So here is a way to start your day mindfully, around the process of brushing your teeth.
- Take 1 deep breath, and keep noticing your breath as you walk to the bathroom to start your day.
- Get your toothbrush and “mindfully” apply the toothpaste to the brush.
- Run a bit of water onto the toothpaste and “really” look at the water.
- Brush your teeth and pay attention, to your gums, your smile in the mirror, your mood starting the day.
- Have some coffee or tea, and pay attention to the cup, the drinking, how hot the beverage is. and keep breathing.
THE TOOTHBRUSH CHALLENGE –
We invite you to mindfully brush your teeth for 30 days and we would love it if you write a comment below.
Here is a little clip of our friend Jon Kabat-Zinn leading a raisin eating exercise, give this a listen and let us know how the mindful toothbrushing goes in the comments below.