Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?

I thought I was perfectly happy living in the past and contemplating every conceivable permutation for the future, oblivious to what was going on around me in the present. This whole being mindful and “living in the moment” concept was foreign to me. I like to hang onto things—to cling to past experiences and their corresponding feelings (good and bad) like some kind of memory hoarder. 

At the same time, I enjoy time travel into the future. If only I had a functional crystal ball I wouldn’t have to spend so much time guessing and imagining what lies ahead. I like to know how things are going to play out so I create possible scenarios in my head. It’s a crap shoot really. About 90% of my predictions are wrong. Or more often, by the time the future becomes the now, I’ve long forgotten what outcome I was trying to orchestrate in the first place. 

My husband started learning about mindfulness years ago, long before it became a trend. And man, has it ever become a trendy. These days you can’t swing a yoga mat without hitting a millennial meditating or a #mindful hashtag. 

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn is the first book on the subject of mindfulness that my husband read. In fact, it’s the first book he’s read from cover to cover in our entire marriage! Clearly it captured his attention. 

wherever you go there you are

I’m reading it now. It’s no Girl On A Train, but I’m enjoying it. And more importantly, I’m learning. I plan to share some the stand-out lessons as I go along. One line that stuck a chord with me so far is simple. It’s “this is it.”

Every now and then, as my day goes on and I begin to feel the pressure of activities and responsibilities weighing me down, causing me to lose focus, which usually results in a flurry of mulit-tasking madness or me hyper-focusing on a past event that is a useless waste of mental space since it’s, you know, in the past. Stopping for a minute, taking a breath (like, an actual deep and focussed breath), and saying “this is it” helps me a lot. Actually noticing what is happening to me and around me in the present and acknowledging that this moment is “it” —it’s my actual life, is slowly but surely changing me in some pretty spectacular ways. 

Mindfully and gratefully,

~ Lisa

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