Day 4 – Mindfulness Year and a Day
I’m about to get very real in here. While it’s true that I love to wax poetic and write ideologically, I’m by no means perfect. And while I’m a life-long (if not somewhat sporadic) student of yoga, meditation and various other mindful practices, I’m not professionally trained. Hell, I’m a software-engineer-turned-B2B-copywriter, professionally speaking. I’m also a novelist (as is ridiculously obvious on this site).
I’m not sure if my lack of formal training makes me wholly unqualified or uniquely over-qualified to dole out the advice I’m giving.
The point is, I’m just your average Josephine. What I have is practice, not perfection.
I forget to eat right, and then wonder why my insides hurt.
I don’t drink enough water, especially considering I live in a desert.
I get snippy with my husband and kids at the end of a long day.
I doubt myself, my abilities, and my capacity to do all those adult things that have to happen to keep a home running.
I criticize myself for not doing enough.
I criticize myself for trying to do too much.
I wonder if I’m failing as a parent.
But you see… I’m here to say that anyone – you, me, your neighbor, your dad, that guy that shouts “get off my lawn” to all the neighborhood kids… anyone and everyone is capable of going inward, focusing on the breath, and developing the tools that bring mindful awareness to all the things.
Anyone can focus on their breath and bring awareness to their inner state of being.
Anyone can find stillness in a single moment.
Anyone can write and recite mantras to release toxic thoughts or change undesired patterns of behavior.
Anyone can become aware of their failing moments and choose to regroup and try again.
Anyone can take the first step on a new path, be it physical, emotional, or metaphysical.
When you take a few minutes each day to focus inward, release toxic thoughts and even just concentrate on the simple act of breathing, you’ll realize that even if you don’t have all the answers to all your questions or problems — that’s okay. You’re breathing. Your alive. You have the chance to keep going.
You may find your answers, and you may not. You may get them here, or you might find them somewhere else. You might latch onto an answer and then find out later that it missed the mark entirely.
At the end of Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Richard (both character and author) flips through his Messiah’s handbook to find one final message. Throughout the story, he receives the wisdom he needs most in any given moment by opening this book. At the end, when everything comes apart at the seams, he opens the book hoping to find a bit of wisdom to carry him forward. What he gets is, “Everything in this book may be wrong.”
We go through life finding answers, only to realize later that our answers only served us in the moment. Don’t be afraid to release what worked if you find that it’s no longer serving you. And don’t be afraid to fail, because, as long as you’re able to return to your breath… you’re not failing.
So, while right now I’m feeling strong and positive and I seem to be full of wisdom (or… full of, you know… whatever…), at some point in the very near future, I’m probably going to feel like I’m failing. I’ll be feeling the pangs of anxiety, questioning my own self worth, and doubting everything I do and say.
And that’s okay. Mindfulness isn’t a destination. It’s a life choice. So when my next downward swing hits me, I’ll most likely be out here talking about it. I plan on being very real in an effort to bring awareness to my own life. To live in an awake, alive and aware fashion, mindful of what’s going on inside me.
If my ramblings here help you in any way, that’s awesome. If not, that’s fine, too 🙂 But just remember, whether these words help you or not, everything we discover together may be wrong. That’s the reality of it. And that’s okay.