Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Practicing Mindfulness -

This year, 2016, has been crazy. And yeah, duh, that's my life. And yes ma'am, I am finally learning how to handle my world without letting it handle me. One of the tools I've been implementing this year is Mindfulness, that is, staying in the moment, dealing with what I can see and what I know, not letting my mind take me too far out in the future, and staying happy. And this is working.

Take Easter, for example. Easter is this Sunday, and for the entire month I've known that we will have company for Easter dinner. That means several adults and children, in my tiny house. This could be enough to make me go crazy and worry about the logistics. But honestly, there's not much I can do, so why worry? I need to firm up a dinner plan, games or some Easter treat, but again, until the Friday before Easter (this Friday), I have no time to put into assembling these aspects of Easter. So, why worry?

I have a simple menu in mind, I have a couple of games and crafts, I have a layout plan for tables, but I've chosen to let those plans now rest until I can give my focused attention to the event itself. When I start to think about Easter, I step back, place this time on Friday in my mind's calendar, and continue on with what is at hand - or the day as it unfolds.

I'm a firm believer in "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear," but I also believe that worrying, as a part of preparation, brings more fear to the event itself, fear and anxiety and stress. None of which I need. And this has been my year to this point. Working 20 hours at UVRMC, teaching 3 classes at UVU, all I can do is what I can do, and there is absolutely no time for worrying.

I'm also a firm believer in AA's Step 3; Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. To me this means totally letting go of the worries of tomorrow, so that I can focus on today's events, or that which I do have some control over. And what I have control over is simply my attitude and my actions - and if they are in synch, then I can move forward, being honest with myself and placing my trust in tomorrow - when it arrives. 

I hope I'm making sense. The idea is simply this - don't worry or stress about what cannot be done in the here and now. Make a plan, step away from it, with comfort in knowing the plan is in place, and deal with the here and now, today. Most importantly, know that the only control we have for tomorrow is today. This gives me great perspective. 

It's working for me, and I am in such a better place because of this. Try it - trying bringing your mind from anxiety and stressors, typically the past or the future, and live in today, the moment. Lots of tips in doing this; my most favorite being taking three deep breaths, in, out, and returning my mind and body to the present. I try to do this at least three times a day, whether I'm feeling anxious or stressed, or whether I'm feeling like I just need a deep cleansing breath. 

Amen - 



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