Every year, I choose a word and make it mine for 12 months. Some years have been more successful than others. As a reminder, these are the words over the years:
This year, 2022, the word is Mindfulness.
So, you may or may not be wondering…
How’s it going?
WEEEEELLLLLL, lemme tell ya!
It’s been slow but steady!
I’ve talked a lot about two apps that Mom encouraged me to get … and both have been very helpful to me… in spite of the fact that meditation has been difficult (understatement) for me in the past – mostly because I have a very short ADHD attention span.
The thing that’s neat about both is that they have very short meditations that are between 4-10 minutes long. I can DO that!
Of course, meditation is the ultimate mindfulness exercise!
Both are free to download and have limited meditations that are also free. Like most things, you’ll get a much larger offering if you pay for the apps. You might be able to get what YOU need with the free ones, so I encourage you to try… especially if you’re searching for something online and private that you can do alone on your own schedule.
(To be clear, this is a personal recommendation from me to you. I am not being paid by either app.)
Other than those moments, I find I am *thinking* about mindfulness more often, which of course keeps me mindful. I am making an effort to savor moments, weather, discussions, food, our cats, kisses from my husband, and even memories that come up… but as more of a bystander than participant. That’s because I too often would get tangled up in the emotions of guilt and shame… or fall into the deep sadness that leads to depression.
I don’t know why I think of such sad things so often. I’m trying to reframe… because dang, it does NOBODY any good to wallow.
To give you an example of what I mean… I will see a cat cross the road as I’m driving home from work at night and this is how my mind automatically goes:
- Why is that cat outside?
- It will be hit by a car
- It will be eaten by coyotes
- A satanic cult will sacrifice it (this is not said tongue-in-cheek. I worry about this one a LOT!)
- Why can’t people keep their cats safely indoors?
- Remember that story I saw (online, on the news, in the paper)? (Insert horrifying story about cat abuse)
- Remember how ex-husband (Insert horrifying story about cat neglect)
- Remember, remember, remember…
You see how it goes.
It can be any subject. My mind goes straight to the worst possible thing.
So, I’ve been trying to reframe like this… and I’ll use seeing a cat on my way home again:
- Hi Kitty!
- Better get home! Your owners are probably worried!
- I bet the owners think cats need to roam.
- In the winter, I bet she/he is sitting by a warm hearth.
- Bette & Hannah are so cute! (They’re our cats)
- I’m glad our cats are safely at home.
- Bettes fur is like velvet.
- Hannah has the softest pink pads.
Again, you get the idea. This is VERY difficult but OH SO NECESSARY to pull myself back from the edge of the abyss. Only then can I appreciate what is happening in the moment, which simply is…
Look, a cat in the road.
This is the crux of mindfulness.
So, as you can see, it’s a work in progress.
Totally worth it!
PS: The featured photo is one I took on my walk yesterday but saved for just this moment. It is my favorite flower, a yellow rose.
My walks are exercises in mindfulness as I strive to make sure I’m walking carefully, aware of my surroundings, and keeping an eye out for beauty I can capture with my camera. This photo proves it!
PSS: You should pick a word to focus on! I know it’s halfway through the year. That’s OKAY! C’mon… DO IT!