Louise takes the plunge into mindfulness.
I’m scared. Pooing-my-pants scared. My quest for better self-care is moving from the safety of tea on the back doorstep into an unknown land called Mindfulness. It’s a place where staying present, not being subsumed by thoughts about the past and future, and judgement-free acceptance help to develop awareness, appreciation and clarity in everyday life. Mindfulness has even been shown to help with stress management, mood regulation and a host of other health issues. Wow! Sounds like the perfect underpinning for self-care practice.
So what am I afraid of? I worry that there will be too many things to be mindful about: my thoughts, my feelings, my life, what I eat, sugar intake, how much water and caffeine I drink, sleep; how I spend my time, my money, how I parent my kids, the environment; what I wear, what I write; conversations, relationships. Can anything seriously quiet my flitting mind? What if this mindfulness caper really works, and my naughty inner child becomes a total goody-goody. I kind of like her as she is: living on the edge, shooting from the hip; she is silly and fun, and still makes me laugh at fart jokes.*
But she is the one who always distracts me from the present. While I have been writing this post the little ratbag begged me to check the fridge for snacks, when I’m not even hungry. Then she tried to make me get up and pluck the hair off my chin, the wiry one I’ve been twiddling all week, waiting for it to get long enough to grip. It has been coming and going since I was fourteen, when it was first pointed out by my best friend’s older sister in front of some really cool, spunky sixteen year-old guys. Thanks for that, Katie T! By the way, I wonder what she is up to these days? Must look her up on Facebook, and maybe Twitter. I’m half way out of my chair. “Hey! Keep writing!” yells my sensible inner adult, bringing me back to the present and onto my bottom. “Tweet and tweeze later!”
Whisker intact, I’m driving full speed ahead into Mindfulness. Luckily, I just found a roadmap to get me across the border safely. I signed up for the perfectly timed Mindful in May – Pause for a Cause – (MiM) meditation campaign, founded by fellow WonderWriter, Dr Elise Bialylew. I just received the first of my online mindful meditation resources, and I sighed with relief. They are not scary at all, and are perfect for the time-poor novice. Ooh, the mindfulness fairies are smiling upon me today. I have just been granted an unexpected bit of time alone to test them out. Back in ten…