Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stop and Smell the Roses?

as i looked at the name of my blog, "mindfulness and transformation," this morning, i began to think about the connection of those words and to wonder if i truly have become more mindful and, if so, in what ways has that mindfulness changed me.  i'm not as mindful as i'd like to be. i still find myself fretting over the future, spending time regretting some things in the past, multitasking at the expense of what is happening  in the present moment.  i imagine perfect scenarios for the immediate future and long for them to come into being, but i find myself being called back to a present that, while imperfect, is full of joy and is far happier than i would have believed possible a few years ago.

i find that i am much more content with things as they are and am less inclined to rail against life's failure to turn out just as i had hoped.  when i am called from what i've told myself i should be doing to attend to the needs of someone else, i've discovered that i am not so irritated that what i had planned is not happening.  i understand that another person's needs are more important that attending to my own tasks at exactly the time i'd planned, and i am able to focus more fully on paying attention to that person in need.

the effort to live more mindfully has been transforming, though my progress along the eightfold path is halting.  i stumble, but following the path is worth the effort.  to be able to simply sit in my den, experiencing what is going on around me--the sound of the floor clock ticking, the pleasure of the gentle breeze of the fan behind me, the feel of the fabric of my chair against my legs and arms, the hum of the always-on sound system, the glow of the kitchen lights in the corner of my eyes, the warmth of the laptop computer on my upper legs--is something that would have gone unnoticed a few years ago.  to close my eyes and find my mind at rest, not racing from topic to topic to solve every problem or to organize my day is a wonderful new phenomenon.

so, am i mindful?  well, sometimes.  has that sometime mindfulness been transformative.  emphatically, yes, and that emphatic "yes" encourages me to continue to increase the time i spend living mindfully.  may we all find the time to just be in the present moment.  may we find that the most basic tasks of life are enjoyable if we are mindful as we do those tasks, rather than mindlessly racing through them as we think about what may never come to pass.  may we be at peace within our own minds and skins so that we may be at peace with others.  shalom.

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