One thing I noticed in particular as I looked at these movements (whether big or small) is that the struggle between fear and courage is always at the forefront. As I made my way to present day, I reflected on how badly some people want a wall between the United States and Mexico. While I won’t pretend to know the first thing about border security, I do know that if we’re putting up walls, figuratively or for real, it’s because we’re afraid.
I love the rain! I definitely didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have when I lived somewhere with a lot of weather, but I sure do love it now. I love the change it brings. I love that it cleanses the smog.
The amount of information and options out there these days, and access to it, is astronomical. There’s actually a term for this now “choice overload.” Access to too many choices can lead to anxiety and depression.
At one point in my life, when I was much less mindful, I googled the phrase “how to let go.” It was a lifetime ago, so I don’t remember what I was struggling to let go, but if I was asking google, I must have been struggling.
The google search didn’t turn up much that was useful.
That’s because, as I learned in the years since, there isn’t a set algorithm to letting go.
I’m currently in a time-out. But to write this article about time-outs, I’m going to have to take a time-out from my time-out. Then, I’m going back to my time-out.
Is that “Who’s on first” enough for ya?
I know Thanksgiving is over (and that it can be a controversial holiday), but I’m still thinking about gratitude (Also, please excuse the cheesy title. My inner Dr. Suess loves rhyming.).
Gratitude isn’t something I only think about during the giving of thanks. It’s often on my mind because I know it’s a good thing.
Awhile ago I wrote an article “How I Deal With People Who Suck.” At the same time I started an article entitled “How I Deal With the Suck.” When I say started, I mean that phrase is all I wrote. I thought after the last week and a half in my part of the world, it might be a good time to write the rest of it.
I can’t remember the last time I was bored. If ever. I’ve always been quite good at entertaining myself and there’s always more I want to do than I can ever find time for. This is awesome because I’m never bored. Life is perpetually a grand adventure (Not all of it entirely desired but adventure nonetheless.) as I’m always learning and exploring.
But this can also come with the dark side of being too busy. Being too busy leads to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, sad, and angry. There’s also this weird side effect of not actually getting much done. Even though we’re “so busy.”
Here’s a special Tuesday mindfulness edition in honor of the midterm elections. Also, I didn’t have time to write a blog post on Monday so that may have also played a role in this.
As I prepared to vote, I thought about how important it is to make mindful decisions. And how difficult that can be. Many people only listen to their emotions when making decisions or refuse to pay attention to information that doesn’t fit their beliefs. Many also don’t do the research to see if the “facts” actually have any evidence to support them.
Since Halloween is sneaking up quickly, let’s discuss something really scary today. Meditation.
I say scary because often when I utter the word “meditation,” eyes grow large and there’s an audible gasp, followed by some of those nervous giggles. “I can’t sit still.” “That makes my anxiety worse.” “The silence would drive me crazy.” “I’ll never be able to do that.” Some don’t say anything and simply stare at me like I’ve grown a second head.
Meditation can be super intimidating. And seem like something only for hippies or more enlightened beings. There are so many preconceived ideas that many are unwilling to even give it a bit of a try.
I’ve practiced mindfulness a long time. Which has greatly improved my ability to be present in the moment. I don’t experience as much attachment. I’m more quick to catch myself not being mindful and then bam, I’m back in the present. I’m even able to do this during more uncomfortable or painful experiences.
Last night I went out. On a school night. To watch Bey and Jay tear it up on the OTR II tour. I have zero regrets. It was a life experience beyond words but since that isn’t what this post is about I’ll keep it to myself for now.
Last year I was introduced to the word “hygge.” I almost wrote concept but since hygge is essentially Danish for “living with a mindful appreciation,” the concept isn’t new for me but I like that the Danes have a specific word for it.
Regardless, chores are an awesome way to practice mindfulness. They’re something you have to do so you might as well get something out of them other than cleanliness. They also involve repetitive actions that make it easier to bring your mind back to the present moment over and over, as many times as you need to.
Mindfulness and meditation can seem really overwhelming to some. Oh the irony, since they're supposed to help us feel the opposite of overwhelm.
That’s why I have to remind myself to be mindful of my electronic use. When I recognize that it’s a problem, I consciously unplug depending on what I need at that time. It isn’t always easy (Especially when I have work to do that requires some sort of technology.) but it’s necessary so here’s how I make it happen:
“Just breathe” is more than the refrain in the Anna Nalick song “Breathe (2AM).” Don’t worry if you don’t know the reference. I’ve had this hook stuck in my head for years and still had to Google who sang it.
“Just breathe” is probably the advice I most frequently give when someone is freaking out. And it’s definitely the advice I take most often when I’m freaking out.
I love to eat. I mean, really love to eat. I enjoy food in all its glory, the taste of a good meal, the energy it provides, the comfort at times. Often I find myself utterly disappointed that I’m not a foot taller so I can eat more. Yet the truth is I’m a low five footer and even though I can eat as much as my much taller comrades I shouldn’t.
Lately I’ve been quite mindful of how I have not been as mindful as I’d like. I've gotten into this not so helpful habit of rushing around to fit in everything I've committed to. It's been quite difficult to be present much of the time while in this state.
Because I just learned this social media hashtag trend “Mindful Monday” and I love alliteration a little too much, I’ve decided to start my own series of Mindful Mondays.