I loved those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books as a kid. So many different plots and endings. You never knew what you were going to get. Until you chose every adventure that is. But then you just got another book.
I say all this not to feel sorry for myself. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I feel human. I recognize that we all live this human experience. Life is full of the stuff I mentioned above and it’s also full of all the small things that make it totally worthwhile.
Last week, while out gardening, I found a monarch butterfly chrysalis. This beautiful light green and gold accented shell hung inside an empty container in the midst of its transformation. Being the nature geek that I am, I did a happy dance. I’d never seen one out in the wild (The wild being an urban backyard.).
I’ve always been a people person. Even though I certainly have my introverted side too. I just love human beings in all their glory, hilarity, and messiness. I find people absolutely fascinating, which is important since boring is my kryptonite, and I can generally find something to like about everyone. If I don’t like you, then you started it. And you know who you are!
What mindfulness does is it allows you to see the experience for what it truly is. Without all the extras I was initially throwing on it. Mindfulness in this particular instance was an opportunity for me.
I am the absolute worst at napping. The worst.
Part of the beauty of life is its messiness and completely involving yourself in that messiness. It’s joyful and sad and frustrating and surprising and exciting and angering and scary and full of love and adventure and challenges and ups and downs.
We're often hurt in relationships. Unfortunately, this usually begins at a young age. Sometimes intentionally. But more so often because someone else was hurt before us and they’ve never healed from that. So we carry the generations of pain into our current relationships.
It can be easy to forget how good we have it and think that something else might be better. I totally remember being a kid and thinking, I cannot wait to be a grownup. Probably so I could eat ice cream for breakfast.
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.
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.
It’s that time of year again! To set massively large, unattainable goals that leave you to spend the rest of the year feeling like a total loser when you don’t reach them.
Ah yes, the intoxicating, yet elusive new year’s resolution.
I’m not particularly religious, although, I can get behind many of the morals represented in most religions (Big fan of that peace and love!). So I’m much more a secular celebrator of all holidays. Celebrations are my jam!
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.
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.
Running your own business can be hard. Working for someone else can be hard. Not working at all can be hard. Being in a relationship can be hard. Raising a family can be hard. Being alone can be hard. Training for a competition can be hard. Learning a new skill can be hard. Having an illness or injury can be hard. Freaking filling out a form can be hard.
Life can be hard.
I really like people. Their eccentricities, their stories, their desire to connect, how we’re all so different and also exactly the same. I almost always have good experiences with human beings and I think it’s because I like them so much. Or maybe it’s just because I’m so incredibly awesome...
But enough about me. We’re here to talk about people who suck. Of which even with all my luck, I have encountered a few.
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.