you know what’s difficult? doing nothing. as in, just being — with no agenda or check-list or expected outcome. just hanging out with yourself with no distractions. completely alone. with yourself. and your thoughts. yes, that’s right, JUST YOU AND YOUR THOUGHTS.
I apologize if I sound a bit whiny — and I’m totally envious if you just read that last paragraph and were like, “what is she talking about? doing nothing isn’t hard. I love being alone with my thoughts and I meditate xx minutes per day and I live in each moment and accept it for what it is.” also, I hate you just a little bit.
in all seriousness, though, it shouldn’t be so hard, right?! I’m grateful mindfulness has become an idea that has worked its way into everyday conversations and agenda topics in meeting rooms, but it also makes me a bit sad that we have to put so much focus and energy on just being. I truly believe if we could all just weave a bit of mindfulness into our days, our world would be much improved. we would be a kinder, more accepting society.
between the MBSR course I’m currently taking and the new meditation group I’ve joined at work (and, am leading a weekly a session — what do I get myself into?), as well as my constant effort + struggle with being present, mindfulness is pretty constantly top of mind for me as of late. which is good because if I’m thinking about how I can live more mindfully, it’s likely that I’m taking steps to do so. and, even if I don’t succeed all of the time, I get an E for effort. or, at least this is what I tell myself.
obviously, my quest for more mindful living is a work in progress, but I’m taking steps in the right direction, and that’s what really matters to me. and, despite it being a challenge, I’m enjoying the experience of getting to know, accept and love myself and the moments that make up my life. I’m getting a little better each day at acceptance and forgiveness and just being.
as Don John commanded in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, “. . . let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.” although John was a villain, he seemed to have down something I think so many of us are seeking in ourselves — acceptance — which goes hand-in-hand with just being.
Jon Kabat-Zinn define mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” in his book, “Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life,”
attention. purposefully. present. acceptance. the four words I have been repeating to myself over and over again the past two weeks. the four words on which I strive to model my life and being.
and, yes, I realize preceding a list of completed tasks and to-dos with a narrative of this topic is a bit ironic, but I think a balance of doing and being is crucial. I’ve clearly got the doing part down now it’s just time to focus on the being. attention. purposefully. present. acceptance. I’ll get there.
“Only that day dawns to which we are awake.” ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden
week in review
last week’s gratitude: progress
this week’s intention: mindfulness
what I’m reading: Books for Living + The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo + 10% Human
catching up with one of my favorites over mulled wine + in the presence of lots of books (pic 1)
lots of outdoor exercise time (pics 3, 4)
catching up over coffee with two of my dear friends and their kiddos (pic 5)
train time + reading (pic 6)
attended MBSR class #2
happy hour + catching up with former coworkers
dinner with one of my favorites
productive + rewarding work week
nominated + accepted lead role for work volunteer group
spent some time with my favorite Amazon Prime family, aka binge-watched the latest season of Transparent
participated in the women’s march in my own way
read + wrote
continued minimizing + removal of items that don’t bring me joy
completed MBSR homework + readings
made a conscious effort to connect with friends + family
completed taxes prep
wrote + post 101 things in 1,001 days update
signed up to lead weekly meditation session (work)
birthday wishes for one of my favorite cousins
continued travel planning for upcoming girls’ weekends
continued Foundations of Well-Being program
meditation + self-reflection
wrote + posted laying low + my women’s march
wrote + posted week reflection
weekend happenings + intentions
brunch with friends + write letters to our representatives
read + write
connect with friends
finish 2017 travel wishlist
coffee + walk with friend
finish one of the three books I’m currently reading
continue to make progress in The Foundations of Well-Being course
see Hidden Figures movie