Tuesday, November 13, 2018

my 2018 word -- mindful

Well, now that it is the middle of November, I figure it's a good time to unveil my "one word" for 2018.  Ha!  I think it's taken me the first ten months of the year to wrap my head around that little word.

It is MINDFUL.

I was hesitant to pick that word because it's trendy right now.  It seems like I hear it left and right.  Maybe that's partly because I've been thinking and pondering it, I don't know, but it does seem like it's thrown around a lot.  Because of this, I think there are a few different definitions of it.  Dave laughs and thinks it's just my same "focus" word from a few years ago reinvented, but to me it's different.

I chose this word because I wanted to be more mindful as to how I spend my time each day.  I came across some interesting things to think about when I was trying to get into a habit of meditating every day (still struggling with that one, but I've learned a lot in the process).

The guy who invented "Headspace" (Andy Puddicomb) gave an extremely interesting Ted Talk about how to take care of our minds a little better (the talk is HERE).  He talked about a research paper from Harvard that says on average our minds are lost in thought almost 47% of the time.  I can relate.  My mind tends to spread all over the place.  Did I text back that person who asked about such-and-such?  How can I teach more empathy to my children?  I need to add eggs to my grocery list.  How can I nurture so-and-so better?  Gosh dang it, I forgot ______(fill in the blank).

Puddicomb talks about how when our minds are lost in thought we miss out on so much of the "here and now."  We get so stressed with all those difficult and confusing emotions swirling around in our heads that we are no longer present in the world we live in and we miss out on so much goodness in life. "This constant mind wandering is a direct cause of unhappiness.  We're not here for that long anyway, and to spend almost half of our lives lost in thought and potentially quite unhappy seems tragic, especially when there's something we can do about it.  We have a positive, practical achievable scientifically proven technic to help our mind me more healthy, happy, more mindful and less distressed {meditation}.  The beauty is that even though it need only takes about ten minutes a day it impacts our entire life."

Yeah, you'd think when I heard that I would meditate EVERY day.  He did.  He went ahead and became a monk to try to figure things out.  While that isn't the answer for me, the thought really has sent me on much more of a quest for mindfulness.  A quest to focus my thoughts in a powerful way.  Being there for what's most important and knowing what that "most important" stuff is.

For me, this quest for mindfulness has brought me to think more deeply on several things.  First of all social media.  I wrote about how that's hindering mindfulness in many ways back HERE and HERE and HERE.  I wrote about my new screensaver to make me more mindful HERE.  (I have gotten too used to that one now, I need to switch it up...). 

That "one word" of mindfulness running through my mind also inspired me to get hopping with my new daily "system" that I'm still working on (inspired by blog readers) back HERE.

It's also got me more zoned in on connecting to God...mostly through reading my scriptures these days (talked about that back HERE)...and I personally think that "connection" is even more powerful than meditation.  Perhaps it qualifies as a type of meditation now that I think about it.

Maybe I've waited to become an "expert" at becoming mindful to write about it here...perhaps that's why it's now November and I'm just barely writing.  And I'm not writing about it because I've mastered it. 

Quite the contrary. 

I think it's one of those things that the more you learn, the more you realize you need to learn.  But here I am, writing about it because I think becoming mindful is a journey.  It starts with the seed of awareness and starts to sprout.  And you can nurture it in the ways that seem the best for you personally.

I'm on a journey.  I think all of life is that way, don't you think?  But if I can be keep taking steps toward becoming more "mindful" of how I'm spending my days, the meaning comes to life in them so much more fully, in beautiful technicolor.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Shawni! This is random, but which version of “Gift of the Magi” do you have? I try and get a few new Christmas books each year and I’ve referred to your list before. There are so many different versions and publishers. If you can help, I appreciate it. If not, thanks anyway!

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    1. Hi Courtney! We've had a few different copies with different artwork, but the story is the same. Kind of depends on the artwork you like the most. I think this is the one we have right now: https://amzn.to/2DF2j7R You're making me get excited to pull those books out of storage and get reading!

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