Thursday, September 15, 2016

On Being Mindful

I listened to a lecture on mindfulness today. We hosted it, actually, at work, and so I was standing in the back listening and nodding my head, particularly when the presenter, (who was great) talked about things like procrastination, how many hours we spend on media and the negativity bias. I don’t know about you, but my negativity bias works astoundingly well.

But it did make me stop and think about what being mindful means to me—and when I actually find myself in that state. Life seems to be moving so fast these days. I know it’s these days, but between Luca and work and the house and friends and family and just regular life things like emptying the dishwasher and buying conditioner, it all feels like a blur sometimes.

There are days when that blur, that constant movement, feels good. When it feels like I’ve got everything I needed done and I tended to all the most important things in my life. Those are the days when I went to the gym, and I chose the vegetables and I spent time with Luca and I hung out with John and I even managed to pick up the 8,000 blocks strewn around the living room. That’s when I walk away thinking: yes, I got this. I can do this.

And then there are the days when the blur and the constant motion feel just that. Like a whirlwind. Like I haven’t sat down all day. When I just want time to slow down so I can take a really long nap.

Like I said, I know it’s these days. The days that I’ll probably miss when things really are slow and really are quiet. I’m not wishing them away at all. I like crazy. I like messy. But I also like being in it, when I’m in it.

And that’s what I took away from today. That it’s not wishing away your time or whatever’s going on in your life, but rather, recognizing the moments—cultivating the moments—during which you are most present.

For me, those are when I’m sitting on the floor coloring with Luca. When I’m reading to him at night, books about trucks and about a pig named Olivia. When I’m at kickboxing, in the morning, and I’m not thinking about anything else except finishing 10 burpees. When I’m writing and it’s going and I’m reworking a sentence, swapping words and order, and manage to get it to fit together exactly the way I want.

And I know that there are other times I can start to be more present, too: To not bring my phone with me on walks; to eat lunch outside while the weather is still nice instead of watching TV or looking at the computer; to actually play trucks with Luca without thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner or what else I have to do for the day.

But listen, I’m not about to sit here and say that I’m never going to multitask again. Or that sometimes, you don't need 5 minutes on your phone while you’re at the park. (Hell, how would get all the cute pictures then?) But that was another takeaway from today. Small to start and baby steps and all that.

And truthfully, just spending the time listening to that lecture, just taking the time to think about it and recognize it in my own life felt good. Recognizing that all those things I mentioned a couple paragraphs up are the things that I enjoy the most: reading and coloring and writing.

I know mindfulness is a big, huge topic and there is so much more to say about it. But for now, I’ll stick with this. With looking inside the constant motion and finding a couple moments of quiet.


  1. OMG... I love this! One of my favorite things you've ever written. (PS- creepy how quick I saw this post... sorry)

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