7 Attitudes of Mindfulness…Plus, Part 2

trustthejounrey

Last time I started talking about attitudes of mindfulness.  This next one ties in with one from then; patience.

…and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

~Anais Nin

I love the quote above; it speaks to trusting that change is ok and necessary.  Also trusting and having the patience to wait for the transformation to take place.

itis serenity

The fifth attitude is that of acceptance.  When I was learning mindfulness, what my therapist told me to do was when I felt my anxiety and anger building was to stop, acknowledge and accept that that was how I was feeling.  Then I would be able to not let my feelings color my actions.

lettinggo courage

Miss M LOVES to sing the Disney song who’s title is a variation on the next attitude; letting go.  (Sometimes I catch Miss J singing too, but most of the time she acts like she’s sooooo over it.)  When we talk about letting something go, any of the 3 of us might break into it.  This is difficult for me sometimes to do, but I”m getting better.  Same with Miss J.

I have a bit of a confession here…I. LOVE. to. sing…..and I do so whenever possible.  I’m sure you probably have that song in your head now.  I’d say I’m sorry, but…I’m sure as we continue on our journey together this will only be the first of MANY times.

 

giving

The seventh attitude of mindfulness is that of generosity.  Mother Teresa was unarguably one of the most generous people of our time.  In her quote above, she points out the need to do more than just giving money, but also putting real love into the giving.  That could be doing something for people, like buying presents for those less fortunate; working in a soup kitchen or shelter; being a big brother/ big sister to a troubled child; the list goes on.  Sometimes people just need to feel heard, and that someone gets it.

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When I started this post, I was thinking that this last attitude I was going to downplay.  The attitude is one on non- striving, which in today’s world didn’t seem to make sense.  On further reflection though….it IS important.  I’m not saying NOT to aspire to better things….but don’t seek them to the exclusion of all else.  Slow down and take the time to be, to experience the beauty and joy that is life.  What needs to be done will be.

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 What have your experiences been with the attitudes listed above?  I would love to hear your stories!  Like my blog?  I would be honored for you to share it!

7 Attitudes of Mindfulness…Plus, Part 1

bewhatitis

Learning to be mindful is a process, but one that benefits you in a myriad of ways.  It helps fight PTSD, any emotional issues, increases your ability to focus, and may even help combat memory loss.  There are numerous physical benefits as well, from pain relief, reducing heart disease, and improving sleep to aiding in weight loss.

Mindfulness originated in Buddhism originally as a meditation performed while seated.  Since then, it has been adapted to our more active lifestyle, and is now recognized as a form of cognitive therapy.  (My former psychologist was a certified trainer in it, and taught me.)

All these attitudes are not easy to change, some more so than others.  The first attitude of mindfulness is non-judging.  To me that means not only to not judge others, but also not judging yourself too harshly.  You never know what’s going on in other people’s lives to make them act the way they are.  (There are a few exceptions, but…)

The next attitude to practice is patience.  When I was growing up, people at the church my parents brought me to used to joke that they didn’t want to pray for patience, as they would then be given nothing but test after test to try to grow it.  Of course this was not what they wanted!  Counting to 10 before responding to something helps here.

The third attitude is having a beginner’s mind.  This means approaching every situation as if its the first time you have encountered it.  Even if it’s the 200th time your kids are acting out.  Don’t go into the situation thinking you know what they’re thinking or feeling….they might surprise you.

Next time I’ll get into the rest of the practices of mindfulness.  What have your experiences been with the ones listed above?  I would love to hear your stories!  Like my blog?  I would be honored for you to share it!

Spiritual Beings, Part 1

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I heard this quote for the first time many years ago…..it seems like a lifetime, but only maybe 15 or so years.  I always wondered who had said it, as there was never credit given.  Turns out it was French Jesuit priest, also a paleontologist and a philosopher by the name of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.  Seems a good place to start our discussion on spiritual self care.

There are those who deny any spirituality in their lives.  Thats not who this post is for.  Its more for people who, like me, are sure that there is something more to life.

We all LONG for connection. Some find it in church. Others in nature. Others in helping those less fortunate. Still others in family, or a network of close friends.

It doesn’t really matter where we find it; our lives are the richer for it.

A little about me; I grew up in a Southern Baptist household. Dad was a deacon, for many years head of the deacons, and moms always heavily involved as well. Twice on Sundays and every Wednesday night we were there. Often we were one of the first families there and the last to leave. OF course I did as was expected of me…I was baptized when I was 7. I tried to fit in the mold….but it was always hollow for me.

Fast forward to my head injury…I can’t deny divine intervention there. The speed and magnitude of my recovery left little doubt of the existence of a higher being. I was only 17 at the time, and I accepted more fully my church’s teachings. Within a few years though, I realized it wasn’t enough. I was in denial and pushed myself harder into it, only to feel emptier.

By this time I was engaged to ex #1, who was catholic and heavily involved in the music ministry of his church. I had been singing the folk mass with him for several months already, so I decided that for family unity I would become a catholic. I did that for a few years, then the church did some not nice things to us, and we stopped going.

It was my ex who introduced me to paganism in searching for a new connection. At first my Southern Baptist upbringing was like “EWWW! NEVER!!!” Then after a while I started reading the book he had bought….and it was like going home.

Tomorrow I’ll continue the story, and continue talking about spiritual community. I welcome your thoughts and comments…as long as they’re respectful. We all have the right to our beliefs. If you like any of my posts, feel free to share them!