Lessons on mindfulness exist in our everyday moments, including tips on how to be present with curiosity and nonjudgment. One such lesson was a gift from quite an unexpected source.

In years long past, my father-in-law gave me a 1920’s vintage watch. He was an octogenarian and a retired watchmaker. Despite progressive tremors and a declining health, he was still passing his days engaging his passion for repairing old watches.

He once explained to me how an old watch has hundreds of intricately moving parts. These pieces must operate in synchrony in order to keep accurate time. He told me that when the movement was off, he could actually hear it.

If a watch wasn’t working at all, he first had to take it apart, and repair anything obvious. He would then sit mindfully listening carefully to each tick – tick – tick.

Sometimes he could hear that one of the ticks was a bit off.  At other times he could hear an unexpected sound between the ticks.

Mindfulness is just like this, whether listening for the sound between the ticks of a vintage watch or between the deep resonant tocks of an antique grandfather clock!  It is about being still and aware while harnessing all of your sensory perceptions. Mindfulness is a curiosity for and a nonjudgmental awareness of the experience of each moment as it unfolds. It is letting go of your story in favor of an intention to be aligned fully conscious awareness.

A timeless presence and power arise as you practice mindfulness and let go of the story in your head. Uncomfortable emotion falls away in favor of a simple curiosity to what is unfolding in your experience of each moment.

Have you considered staying curious and fully present today, if only for a few moments, ticks, or tocks?