An Exercise in Mindfulness

Mindfully Applying Lip Gloss

We are taking a momentary break from the science overload of the Exploring the Science Series this week! Enjoy this brief exercise.

For this exercise, you will need a lip gloss or chapstick with screwtop lid like this one:

First, wash your hands. Then, I invite you to set all judgment aside, and try this 2-3 minute exercise. Approach this exercise like a small child, who may have never seen lip gloss before. We are going to explore it with all of your senses. (I do not recommend tasting it though 😉 )

Place the lip gloss container in your hand. Focus on it as if you’ve never seen anything like it before. Focus on seeing the roundish object.  Study the lettering. Scan it, exploring every part of it. Turn it around with your fingers and notice the color and clarity. Notice the folds and where the surface reflects light or becomes darker. Notice the ridge where the top and bottom join together.

Next, explore the texture of the container. Notice the texture and the feel of the container against your skin.  Are you feeling any softness, hardness, coarseness, or smoothness? Run your finger over the lettering.

While you’re doing this, if thoughts arise such as “Why am I doing this weird exercise?” or “How will this ever help me?” then just see if you can acknowledge these thoughts, let them be, and then bring your awareness back to the gloss container.

Next, gently turn the lid to open the lip gloss, noticing if it is smooth or rough as you turn. You may want to bring it close to your ear as you turn to hear the sound it makes as it opens.

Set aside the lid. Take the gloss beneath your nose, take a deep inhalation and notice the smell of it.

Now, gently place your clean finger into the gloss, feeling the sensation at the tip of your finger as it dips in. Notice the effect the warmth of your finger has on the surface of the gloss. Gently bring the gloss to your lips. Simply explore the sensations of your finger and the gloss against your lips as they touch.

Lightly press your lips together. Notice if there are any changes in how your lips now feel. Can you still smell the gloss now that it is on your lips?

Take a moment to congratulate yourself for taking this time to mindfully apply lip gloss.  This exercise is meant to demonstrate that mindfulness can APPLY to anything we do throughout the day, bringing more joy and focus to your present moment experience.

Questions For Reflection:

What did you notice with the gloss in terms of: sight, smell, touch and hearing?

What, if anything, surprised you about this practice?

Did any thoughts or memories pop up while doing this practice?

Were there elements of this practice that you found challenging, difficult, or easy?

Was anything different about the experience of mindfully placing lip gloss versus your usual habit?

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