Well, I have mindfully NOT been posting. Sort of. This past week was just filled to the brim with ‘to-dos’ that I realized any non-essential computer time was not going to happen. BUT…
But I realized that if I tried, I could look at this jam-packed week as a major opportunity to practice being mindful. Usually when I have a week where there is a commitment every night, where I don’t see one or more of my children for 36 hours because of my schedule, and where a reasonable amount of nightly sleep just isn’t going to happen, I become very stressed and short-tempered.
I worked hard this week to slow down and pay attention. I started with my walk to work. When my mind started racing about what I had “to do”, I reminded myself to “just walk”. I had to do this over and over again, but it did slow down my mind (and my heart rate). When I was at home, I worked hard to take it one thing at time. I tried to concentrate on what I was doing now instead of rushing through it to get to the next thing. I even made myself late to work (by my standards) to read a book with Ariel and sit at the dining room table with Kirby during his breakfast. I have never done this before.
I know these are small things, but they had a huge effect. All of the things I had to do got done, but I didn’t feel so tired at the end of it all. I mean, I am sitting here typing when normally I would be pulling on jammies and turning on the TV.
How is this possible? I don’t really know. I am not going to lie, it was kind of annoying noticing how often my mind was in many different directions. But I started noticing that when my mind went into hyperdrive, so did my heart. Which suggest that my nervous system was getting really wound up, and we know that stress hormones can wreak havoc on our bodies (this is supposed to be a sort-of-medical blog, but I don’t feel like getting into a whole thing on cortisol right now). SO…I am hypothesizing that allowing your mind to run wild with planning, worry, and stress truly effects your body and results in that debilitating Friday night mental and physical fatigue. But who knows…
When thinking about my attempt at a Month of Mindful Moments, I have come to the following conclusions:
1. It was a success but not how I thought it would be.
2. I realized that there is value and importance in mindful moments that are both pleasurable and not.
3. I finally get why it is a practice.
4. The extra effort to practice being mindful may result in actually having more energy!
5. It is possible to slow down and still accomplish all the things that are required of you (major revelation for me, the consummate “multi-tasker” who mocks those [read: Tim] who cannot do it as well). AND you can be more calm and relaxed while doing all of these things.
6. I must keep practicing because it is starting to appear that the benefits might just be limitless.
Perhaps I will try to post a Mindful Moment here now and then. Thinking about what I could write about actually helped keep me practicing.
I wish you all a peaceful weekend.