Are you a mindful person? I would love to say I am but I’m rather an aspiring mindful person. I try to be mindful at certain times, in a certain moment, on a certain day, but that’s not really being mindful, is it? No. I stress and depress and project it onto others around me, especially those I love the most. I direct it onto my closest friends, my mom, my daughter, God, heck…even my dogs. God forbid I’m working and one of the dogs has to go out, or I’m in the midst of focusing on a project and I get a text, so I even project my stress onto my somewhat smartphone.
You’d think I’d be happier. I mean, I’ve got it made. I work from home, which is just a life choice I made a while back, because I wanted to be present for my daughter. I wanted to raise her properly and be here for her. Not to say that parents who work outside the home are not raising their kids properly. Not at all. I used to do the 8 to 5, the commute, working late, working on a Saturday. I did the whole thing. It’s just a choice I made that was right for me and my daughter. I have awesome contracts with clients I love, finally. I’ve worked for some true devils. I mean, before doing the WAHM (work at home mom) thing, I worked for attorneys and there were some devils in that mix, let me tell you! I can’t believe I did it for as long as I did, but the money was awesome and the perks weren’t too bad, either. Yeah, I’ve worked for some monsters but the worst one I ever had was one of my clients, whom I kicked to the curb last year. No, I love my clients now, so I should be happy.
So I work from home, I get to hang out with the kiddo, take her to everything (or rather, let her take me, since she’s got her permit), hang with the dogs, take Mama to any appointments she needs me to (she lives just next door), not work for attorneys/crazy people/head cases/monsters (although there are 2 attys that I actually adore and call them friends but they are a very rare exception), no commute, no extra expenditure on gas, no dealing with people in the office I don’t particularly care for, I get to fit my work schedule around family time and appointments and walking the dogs, washing clothes, whatever. I get to fit in a little bit of time to work on the novel I started a year or so ago. I can jump on the treadmill whenever I want. I’m healthy. My family is healthy. So, one thing goes not according to plan or wrecks my schedule and I have a meltdown. What’s the deal? Am I going through mentalpause? Or are my hormones all wonky? Oh, maybe it’s the lack of sugar in my diet since I’m into weight loss right now. Or the fact that I’m hungry from putting less food in my belly. God help everybody when I take coffee off my menu. Trying to get healthier. Yeah, I’m gonna healthy all over the ones I love. Poor things.
I keep telling myself to live in the moment. Be present. Be mindful. Mindful of my words, my thoughts, my actions. Be kinder to not just those I love, but to everyone I come in contact with. Be kinder to myself. Be gentler. Stay calm, slower to anger. Be patient with myself and…well…just everybody. I haven’t much patience when it comes to someone doing 40mph on the interstate and I can’t get around them, ’cause grammaw over here in the left lane is going 40 also and refuses to pass. No, actually, I imagine myself shooting out one of their tires, not so they’ll have a wreck, mind you, but slowly pull off to the side and get the heck outta my way. Mean. I know. This is what I’m saying. I’m so angry.
This is not being mindful. Oh, I’m sure of my emotions. I know what I’m feeling. But my feelings are out of control. Depressed and crying because my baby just entered 10th grade and I’m simply not prepared for her to be this age, yet — this big — this grown. *sniff* I realize I have 3 more years with her, but do I? She’s getting more involved in clubs and activities, with friends, stuff in school, stuff outside school, pretty soon she’ll have her driver’s license and probably a part time job. I’ll never see her. My baby will be out the door even before college. Am I afraid of being alone? I don’t think that’s it. I’ve always cherished my alone time. I’m not the lonely type. If anything, I look at it as an opportunity to write or to read. Boring, you say? Nah. I love it. Sometimes I think I need to find a man so I won’t be alone when she goes off to college and then I realize how stupid that thought was. Divorce was good for me. Maybe I just need to learn how to chill.
I need to learn how to be mindful. I need to cease, slow down, stop, HALT! And be still. I need to pray more, meditate. I haven’t meditated in I can’t tell you how long. I used to do it every morning. Hallie even did it with me! We looked forward to doing this together every morning. So, why did we stop? I think I let my work hours consume me. Now that I actually have clients I love and work that inspires and benefits me (and the world), I need to reevaluate my life, my time, ME.
I need to ask myself what it is I want and get to it. I need to get back to the plan. I need to fit in my fun quality family time, work hours, writing hours, exercise, walking and smooching dogs, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn and everything else I have to do and be glad about it. Be glad I have the opportunity. Be mindful of every minute and make sure I’m not wasting it. I admit, I waste a lot. I think too much. That’s my strongest weakness. I can’t get out of my own head. I need to prioritize and eat the frog. Meaning, get the work hours done M-F as soon as I can get done and get it out of the way, so I have the free time I need to do everything else. I procrastinate a bit. I get distracted by my thoughts, an idea of a storyline I’m working on, so I quit work to type it into my book. I’m so disorganized. Even this post is all over the place. I ramble. My thoughts are scrambled and rambling. I’m a rambling gal.
So, I’ll shut up and just make my greatest effort at being mindful. I’ll live in the moment. I’ll be gentler with myself and others. I’ll stay calm and if I don’t have a nice thought or word, I’ll keep my lips zipped! I’ll let it pass. No one needs my stress. I don’t even need my stress. I’ll try to chill and be thankful for each moment I’m given, thankful for all my many blessings, and I do know I’m blessed. I’ll just start acting like I know I’m blessed.
How to be mindful…
- Being in, living in the moment – each minute of the day – not so much inside my head, just aware of my thoughts, my feelings, my actions and words and what’s going on around me. I will make a choice. I will choose how to spend each and every moment. I can participate or I can observe.
- Staying calm, being gentle, slow to anger – if someone tries to piss me off or I start to overreact, I will breeeeeeeeeeeathe and I will smile, forcing myself to chill and be patient. I will not flip anyone off. I will not cuss. I will not yell as if I believe the other driver can hear me. I will not tailgate. If the checkout person in Walmart is in a pissy mood, I will smile at them, try to engage them in polite conversation and try to ease their suffering.
- Act with love. Speak with love. Feel love and exude love. For others as well as myself.
- One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned (thank you, Tessa) is “it’s not all about you.” I will remember it’s not all about me. Just because a person is acting a certain way, it may be about them and it probably is. I tend to get paranoid. I’m getting better at this. I will focus more on others and realize everyone has a struggle. We never know what another is going through. I will take my mind off myself and focus more on others and see if there’s any way for me to be helpful to them.
- If I get distracted, I will come back to center. When I realize I’m goofing off (like now. I should be working), I will refocus, stop playing or thinking or procrastinating or wasting time (even though I just had to talk to y’all), I will ask myself, “Self, what do I need to be doing right now? What am I doing? Do what needs to be done. Eat the frog.” Y’all do know what ‘eat the frog’ means? I’m not actually going to Eat. A. Frog. That’s just wrong.
- If my mind begins to wander, I will bring myself back, get out of my head, refocus, and do what I need to be doing. I will be mindful.
Any other tips on how one can be mindful? HALP?! Please insert in comments below. ’cause we all need to know.
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