The first chapter is quite simple...use your non-dominant hand off and on during the day. It helps you pay attention to what you are doing. Simple things we take for granted like writing, eating, even zipping up our pants becomes very interesting when done with the 'other' hand. The author, Dr. Jan Bays suggests that beyond becoming more mindful of what we are doing, there may be other benefits to this exercise. Our dexterity may increase over time. This just has to help our brains...right?
Now we're on Chapter 2, which is much more challenging for me...Leave No Trace. We are instructed to pick one room of our house (preferably the bathroom or kitchen), and try leaving no trace that we've been there for one week. That means picking up after yourself right away! Oh dear.
The author explains that in Zen paintings a turtle always symbolizes the practice of leaving no traces, because, to quote her exact words, "...they sweep the sand with their tails as they creep along, wiping out their footprints."
She suggests posting a sign that says 'Leave No Trace' in the room where you are practicing this habit, or even buying a little ceramic turtle, or picture of one. I really like this. I probably should put turtles in every room of my house! So this weekend I'm on the hunt for turtles (and picking up after myself.)
I look forward to reading every chapter of this book, and I recommend it to all who love the idea of living more mindfully.