5.22.2009

Mindfulness

I have a friend who blogs a lot about mindfulness. In fact she refers to her therapist as Goddess of Mindfulness. From Wikipedia:

Mindfulness is a mental state, characterized by calm awareness of one's body functions, feelings, content of consciousness, or consciousness itself are occuring within mind. Mindfulness (Pali: Sati; Sanskrit: smṛti स्मृति) plays a central role in the teaching of the Buddha where it is affirmed that "correct" or "right" mindfulness (Pali:sammā-sati; Sanskrit samyak-smṛti) is the critical factor in the path to liberation and subsequent enlightenment. It is the seventh element of the Noble Eightfold Path, the practice of which supports analysis resulting in the development of wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā). The Satipatthana Sutta is one of the foremost early texts dealing with mindfulness. A key innovative teaching of the Buddha was that meditative absorption should be combined with the practice of mindfulness.[1] For more on the concept in early Buddhism, see sati and sampajanna.
Mindfulness techniques are increasingly being employed in Western
psychology to help alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions: see Mindfulness (psychology).

Sometimes I feel like my thoughts are flying at a million miles per hour. I have so many things that I am thinking/worrying about at all times that things that are really important to my "calmness" has been pushed aside. I use this blog sometimes to clear, prioritize, and sort those thoughts. Here are some of the efforts that I plan to try and be more mindful of in my life.

1. Drink more water. It is amazing what staying hydrated can do for you. Dr. Heskett tells me that if I drank more water I would have less headaches, would be less tired and have more energy, and would be hungry less (which could potentially help curb my weight gain). These are all very good things and it is such a simple act. Drink more water. The problem is that I don't really like water unless I am really thirsty. Solution...Crystal Light individual packets...yeah!

2. More patience with the kids. It is so hard in the moment to practice patience. Stress that we are running late or that I am tired at the end of the day causes my patience to ware thin. I want to try and stay more positive and let the small things go more easily. Emily got gum in the carpet or Palmer spilt his milk...it's ok both will clean up there is no reason to get so upset. Sometimes I think I send the kids to timeout more for me than them. They already feel bad but I need that time to recollect and cool off before I start yelling. I'm not mad "at them" I am frustrated at the situation. I need to remember their ages and to make my expectations match those. I have great kids and I know that sometimes I set my expectations years beyond their actual ages and I need be more mindful of that.

3. Stay positive about work. I don't love my job...I don't hate my job either. I am not challenged and feel under utilized. Maybe this is my challenge. To work independently to better my skills and abilities even though the expectations are not there. I have never been very good at self motivating. I have always worked well under pressure and deadlines. People depending on me makes me work better and harder. Maybe my focus needs to be on how to better my ability to find things to do that I am not asked/expected to do.

4. Focus on myself more. I spend a lot of time focusing on Bret and the kids. I work to support their school, their interests, their skills, and their passions. By coincidence I have stopped focusing on mine. I don't know what my goals are and I don't have any passions. I want to spend more time finding what those are whether it be writing, scrapbooking, sewing, reading, or something even newer. I used to take classes like cake decorating and quilting. Since moving here that has all stopped and I now feel like I am missing something. It doesn't have to be a class just time spent on myself.

5. Give more back. For years I work in food shelters, wrapped presents, delivered food, and countless other community activities. I have gotten away from that and I feel like something is missing. We still adopt families for the holidays and we participate with our church events but I feel like I have more to give than that. Bret too has mentioned that he would like to use his skills to help but doesn't know where to begin. In Wichita he used to work at a Catholic shelter and gave free prenatal care and sonograms to moms that were unsure of what to do and needed additional support. I want to work harder to find somewhere to utilize our skills and be able to give when we have so much.

It feels great to have written that out. I feel like I am one step closer to being more mindful of the things that I want and need to work at. What do you need to be more mindful about in your life?

4 comments:

Musings of the Mrs. said...

Those are all great goals and totally doable (quite unlike my win the lottery and quit working forever goal). I do two of those things - drink more water and find time for myself. But its easy because my husband works weekends, I have no kids, and I LOVE water. So, yeah, don't compare. But just do what you can. Its a great goal

Yaya said...

Great post. Mindfullness is definitely useful. I do acupuncture and yoga and counseling to help maintain my mindfullness.


You commented above me at sits today!

rosiesmrtiepants said...

Of course you know that I am love love LOVING this post, Adriana. Mindfulness, I have found, is really the key to everything, at least for me. I have been working harder at practicing it lately (more so than usual) and it has made a big difference. And good for you for making some goals for YOURSELF...a lot of times it is easier to focus on other people than take a look at ourselves and see what we need to do for US. I know that, when Dr. Love and I first got together, I spent all of my energy focusing on him, his issues, his worries, things he was passionate about. Within that, I lost myself and really worked my way into a bad place. I stopped doing all of the things that make me feel good, feel like a better person. And that ain't good. I am starting, step by step, to reclaim activities and practices that make me feel better about my life, myself, and just in general improve my mood and mental stability. Kudos to you for making a goal of doing things for yourself. I'm way proud! :)

kim said...

I watch United States of Tara every single sunday (when it's on). I love that it's in OP and they all have Kansas license plates and make KC references. SO funny!