Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mindful Challenge - Day 4

Living Mindfully - Mindful Ground
Now write a post or grab your journal and write about your reflections, experience and share your story.
If my body could talk, I think it would say, "Good work!  Now stay consistent and take it to the next level by giving me some strength training!"

I've spent the last year taking the necessary steps to downshift from being a full-time working mom to a part-time working mom so that I could take better care of my family and myself.  I have a lot of years left to make money, but only a precious few to spend with my kids while they are still at home with me.
It's been 6 months now, and my body and my family are so much happier.  I can tell that I need some strength training, though, so I'm experimenting with the best way to work that into my schedule as a consistent habit.

Being mindful is key to taking care of your body.  When I'm mindful, my body can tell me if I'm hungry or bored - 2 things my head often confuses when I let it detach from my body.  My body also tells me what exactly I am hungry for - like water instead of food, or carrots and guacamole instead of chips and hot sauce.  But again, that only works when I'm connected and aware. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mindful Challenge - Day 3

Day 3 mindfulness sitting meditation

Do a 10 minute sitting meditation (if you are experienced or feel you have more time, then sit for longer).
I'm surprised by how anxious this challenge has made me this morning.  Probably because Days 1 and 2 were days off for me - today is a work day.  So my mind is asking me, "TEN minutes???  When am I going to do this?  Before my shower?  Will that throw my morning off?  Should I do it when I get home?  Why am I so resistant - this is what I want to make into a habit, right?  Maybe I should start with 5 minutes?  Or 2?  Or start tomorrow?"

So after minimal procrastination (returning an email and wrestling with the temptation of searching for the perfect app to guide me), I set my timer and sat down in my comfiest chair.  After about 10 seconds, my face relaxed into a peaceful smile as it usually does when I give myself this gift of meditation.  I felt my breath move through my body, particularly relaxing my spine this morning - how nice!  

At one point, my mind drifted back to some upsetting memories, as I redirected to my breath, I was startled by how shallow and quick it had become.  But I was able to get back into my meditative state within a minute and move past it.

I look forward to observing what this great beginning does for me throughout my day.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mindful Challenge - Day 2

Mindful Ground Living mindfully

I love the simplicity of today's challenge - just notice and observe the breath.  No need to change it, improve it, slow it down, deepen it, in through the nose, out through the mouth, chant a mantra, sit in any particular location - just notice and observe.  I can do that!

My first try of the morning was judgy.  "Ew - what is that smell?" followed by "I need to blow my nose."  And then I was off to eliminate the smell and get a kleenex.  

But as I completed these little tasks, I thought about my awareness.  It's not just about being aware of butterflies and daisies.  It's awareness of it all - the smells and your mundane needs as well.  And I can learn to not judge or resist, just notice and choose a response.

As I went through my day, I found myself pausing before I would normally drift into one of my trusty procrastination stand-bys.  Before I wandered the internet, noticing and observing my breath led to hanging out with my son on the couch instead.  Before I went to the fridge for an unnecessary snack, noticing and observing my breath led to unloading the dishwasher instead.  Before I reached for another caffeine reload, noticing and observing my breath led to jumping into a decluttering project I'd been procrastinating.

I've been trying to get myself to meditate for a few minutes before these go-tos, but I couldn't make myself.  But when all I have to do is notice and observe - that's easy!  And to my surprise, it worked well today!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mindful Challenge - Day 1

To me, being mindful means being guided by your highest self.  When I'm mindful, it feels like I'm floating happily through my day.  I have the same feeling I experienced floating in the sun on the lake with my Meme and my cousin, floating in our pool with my highschool girlfriends, floating down the Guadalupe in an innertube with my college friends, floating in the Lazy River on vacation with my family.  I can just enjoy the ride, the company, the beauty of my surroundings, how blessed I am.  Just like I surrender and let the water carry me, being mindful is surrendering and trusting that Spirit is carrying me.

And when I'm mindful, I'm not stressed or pressured by guilt or fear or expectations or comparisons or anxiety or discomfort.  There's a confidence in your highest self that allows you to release what others think you should be or do (or what I often imagine others might think).

I'm learning to expand my moments of mindfulness to eventually become my default mode.  I'm also hoping to learn how to catch myself earlier when I start unnecessarily padding against the stream so I can more quickly get back on course.