Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Who Knew?

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Who knew that a simple little tag on a simple little blog post would steer me down a new path?

The tag?
Mindfulness.

The path?
Mindfulness.

The blogger, Smilecalm, liked my last post. It’s always a good feeling to receive a ‘like.’ I believe (s)he likely found me because of the mindfulness tag I added to that post. So I in turn visited Smilecalm’s blog and soon found myself immersed in a whole new world. One click led to another and I discovered inspiration in the simple practice of mindfulness and in people such as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The next thing I discovered was that there are people developing mindfulness practices in schools! Somewhere I read someone lament, “We tell our students all day long to ‘Pay attention!’ yet we never teach them how.” Whoa.

Mind you (no pun intended 🙂 ) I’ve never had my own, regular, meditation practice. But the idea of teaching my students to be mindful resonated deep within me. My teacher antennae knew it had detected something good. So after investigating how to get a mindfulness practice going in my classroom, it became evident that I needed first to develop my own mindfulness practice. You know, kind of like how you should be able to swim yourself before you teach another to do so.

And this mindfulness practice will take some time to develop. My first step is to enroll in an MBSR 8-week training. The price for the course is over $400. This is a hefty price. However, last year I was the recipient of a two thousand dollar cash award from my school to use as I wish. My intention is to spend the money to benefit my teaching practice (which in turn, would benefit my students). I make it sound as though I’ve stashed that money away for this very purpose. The reality, however, is the money came at a much-needed time when my son’s tuition was due. I think it stayed in my bank account for maybe two days. That said, I feel I owe 2k to my own teaching practice, and participating in this course seems to qualify.

The course starts April 27th. I understand there is also some light yoga involved, which I believe I will like. (I’ve been peeking at the hot yoga schedule lately…no promises). Also, for anyone interested, Deepak Chopra and Oprah have their free 21 day meditation going on now.

Isn’t it the neatest thing when you can trace the ripple effect of a single action? I hope Smilecalm will make it back here to learn how his ‘like’ awakened me. It’s the essence of a true Bodhisattva, leading others to enlightenment. I am grateful for the guidance and filled with gratitude.

*[Side note: In the spirit of the ripple effect and just before hitting publish, I was thinking about how I tagged my last post with mindfulness because of my experience of going through my father’s last box of remaining belongings. And then it occurred to me, that as a child, my father was always, and I mean always saying to me, “Amanda, pay attention!” How ’bout that?! Who knew?]*

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Spring Ahead

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When I started my blog, my intent was not to make it about getting healthy. I had been observing that there were defining life experiences that had become touchstones-golden threads interwoven into the fabric of me. Approaching fifty, I thought it time to maybe write about them as they came up, mostly just for me, for reflection. But at the time, it just so happened I was in the throes of a food revolution.

And so I wrote about it.
And I felt GOOD about it.
And I wanted everyone I knew to DO IT WITH ME!
And I marveled at how SURE I was I’d NEVER have a chemical packet of artificial sweetener or a diet soda EVER AGAIN!
And I was HAPPY about it.
And so CONFIDENT!
And then…

I started losing interest.

And I couldn’t quite bounce back from Thanksgiving.

My treads no longer followed the path to Whole Foods or my yoga studio. Rudi’s turned into Ronzoni. And my blog went by the wayside along with my healthy lifestyle. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write about falling off the wagon. In fact if ever there was a time to write, the struggle-time is the most fruitful time! No, it was just a lethargy that took over. A ho-humedness, especially to those activities that interfered with being warm and cozy and caving and eating comfort food.

I do believe this is the power of sugar, sugar.

With that said, this hibernation hasn’t been a totally gluttonous episode. Though I haven’t been shedding pounds, I have been shedding in other areas: namely the stuff of my life that’s been accumulating for 10+ years.

My husband and I have decided it’s time to move out of this house that’s too big for us. It’s time to get out from under our debt, from our accumulations, and from a living situation that is no longer meeting our needs. This is not easy for me. I am a very attached person. In fact, I believe one of the most important things I must do in this life is become more naturally detached. I don’t mean detached in an indifferent way, but in a loving and mindful way.

In order to do this, I must make my way through the artifacts of my past. I am being tested. For example, what to do with the contents of the box that holds the last remaining items of my father’s life, one that ended over six years ago? His dentures, a few pairs of jeans, a hairdryer, prescriptions, glasses…I wonder, how I can possibly let them go? Then I ‘remember.’ I do not need to cling to these items in order to be connected to him, to feel the love of my dad. My heart’s got it. No need for the physical manifestations of his life.

And so I sort the contents of the box into their respective ‘donate, sell and toss’ piles, with mindfulness and gratitude and love. And move on to the next dig.

Today the clocks moved ahead.
The earth is waking up, even though the dirt is still frozen and blanketed by snow.

I’m waking up, too.
Even though I haven’t been in my produce drawer in quite some time, I have been in my closets, unearthing some treasures and shedding some baggage. I remember that I am powerful and have the ability to craft my life the way I want it to be. I’m turning 50 and I can do anything I want. I can make it happen. I quite like making it happen.

So here’s to manifesting.

Or as a friend coined the term,
“Amanda-festing!”

 

 

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