Monday, February 27, 2006

Inspiration (Aspiration?): Mindfulness.

My typical morning involves a bit of sleeping in as I dislike to get up, but once I do get up I rocket around like a madcap thing, especially on weekdays. And in the process, I miss a lot. I know this. This morning I got up, intending to write my morning pages for 20-30 minutes. However, by the time I had my contacts in it was 6:10. Then I realized the trash was not out so I did that and prepared my breakfast. Now it was 6:20. I still needed to brush my hair and prepare most of my lunch - and write this post. And I was sure I could get all of that done, except the morning pages. If I did those I might leave later than 7:00, and might be later to work than I wanted to be. This kind of cramming stuff into a narrow span of time is sadly normal for my life.

(Why'd I pick this post? Simple. If I leave by 7, the traffic is much better, so I really don't want to leave later. The post is more adjustable in length - and I can write the pages at work on a break, but I don't access this site from there.)

Mindfulness means to live in the moment. I'm usually living the future or the past - guilt, or thinking ahead. More and more it's thinking ahead, but I'm still often not in the now (except when doing 'thinking' activities - reading blogs is 'now' - but not physically 'here'). This morning I tried to slow down and appreciate things. Or at least, slow down my mind. I wasn't moving any slower. I was thinking slower - trying not to anticipate ahead to breakfast, whether to write morning pages or this post, running late, etc. I listened to the birds call "come out come out" in the black pre-dawn air. I watched light tremble in individual raindrops - left from an earlier rain, it was not falling when I went out - that clung to the bare branches of the maple tree, which stands near the street-light. I looked up and down the street, recognized the stillness, the quiet resting of the morning.

It was lovely.

Sometimes all we need is the reminder to think about what we are doing right now, as we do it. Not what we will be doing. (This doesn't mean don't write down ideas for it; but to not have done it five times in your head before you ever even do it...anyone else done that?)

There's a movement trying to slow down the frenetic pace of modern living, called the Slow Living movement (actually there are several related ones, but Slow Living will turn up a fair amount of stuff when searched). But I'm not sure I'm ready for that since it implies I have to cut things out of my life and I rather like my life! Mindfulness is another matter....

And just now, I need to go make my lunch. Which I'd better do, since shredding lettuce in my head really doesn't get much done. :)


Marilyn said...

I was so far from "mindfulness" yesterday it was ridiculous! :) Had an INSANE day at work where although I got stuff accomplished, the constant interruptions annoyed the heck out of me and had me feeling increasingly exasperated. I really "minded" them...and not in a good way...ha!

Kara said...

Ah, to see the "light tremble in individual raindrops"......I find it impossible to be mindful all the time - not that I'm not striving to acheive this state. But the way you wrote about slowing down your mind is beautiful and it actually slowed me down as I read it. Yes, I think about doing things too many times before I do them. I wonder if becoming more mindful isn't a lot like developing any new habit - or could we perhaps replace our habit of thinking about doing something ahead of time with the habit of just being in the moment.