I know that can sound like some hippy fluff but when you really think about it, all we have in life is this moment.
How many moments have you let slip by without noticing them? I know I’ve let most days slide by without more than a minute of mindfulness at most. My excuse is always the same “I just didn’t think about it” or “I was too busy”. But the truth is that this is not a way to live. Humans are meant to spend time being present, in whatever way that resonates for them. Not only because we want to savor in the memories but because it will also make us more effective in every other aspect of our lives.
Mindfulness or any form of metacognition (thinking about how we think) can help us combat anxiety, monkey brain (frazzled reactive thinking) and build our creativity. My Aquarius ass has always wanted to be more creative; it’s one of the reasons why I started this blog. I know that when I am on my yoga, meditation, exercise routine it is so much easier for me to create but I also know how hard it is to cultivate and maintain a routine in our fast paced society.
Being Busy isn’t Better than Being Here Now
To build this routine I had to make the conscious decision (with the help of a great presenter Sally Thornton at the HR West Conference) that being busy is not cool. By that I mean that being a workaholic won’t produce better results and that having a jam packed schedule doesn’t make me successful. A way to prevent myself from being too busy to practice mindfulness I schedule these things in to my day. Every night before bed I meditate. I try to schedule time on my calendar to brainstorm or think creatively AND I leave as much blank space in my days as possible.
There is nothing wrong with scheduling time for you to rest. Not only is it crucial for your mental health but it’s also kind of fun. Enjoy a glass of wine or read a good book, it’s good for your brain.
Be Here Now
Please take some time this week to be here, right here, and notice the world you are in at this moment. Meet yourself where you are and give your soul a big thank you for being here and getting you through the day. It doesn’t have to be all hippy dippy chanting or meditation (though I am always here for that as well) – just make it authentic to you.
Whether your mindfulness takes the form of a yoga with Adriene video, painting, guided meditation or an interpretive (or wildly improv’d) dance it doesn’t matter as long as you are present. Take a time out and after you do drop me a comment on how you feel.
March was for action and boy did I take it in that goal on in my personal life. Mid month I decided it was time to start waking up early and working out and feeding my body the good stuff. Starting that habit has created a paradigm shift in my daily routine. Work is no longer the first thing of my day or the last thing that I think about at night.
America has cultivated this unhealthy obsession with getting ahead and my actions helped me realize that. (Yes, I know it is seemingly ironic that by doing more things I have stopped trying to get ahead but being mindful and meditative while doing yoga and running has been so good for me). While I want to succeed in my career I’ve realized that my health has to come before my job. I’m oh so very lucky to work at a company that allows me to take midday walks on beautiful days and encourages the use of PTO but the culture of American corporations in general weighs heavily on all of us. My morning routine and evening workouts allow me to put myself on the schedule instead of just my job. Due to this focus on myself, I have been better at focusing at work. Yin and Yang. That work life balance is oh so very important.
My external actions were a little trickier. I tried to make as many calls to my representatives as I could but I did not reach my goal for the number of calls that I wanted to have made. I still highly recommend Jen Hoffman’s guide and I will still continue to build on this baby foundation of political activism.
April was my month of reflection and repetition. I had not taken enough political action by the end of March to feel like I had accomplished my goal. In April I continued to take action. I donated clothes to a local women’s shelter. I donated money to the ACLU and Emily’s List. I revisited my goal of self-love by getting back into daily yoga and doing little things that made me happy like enjoying coffee with B in the morning. I practiced self-love by reading the book Cunt and really sitting in my powerful feminine energy. I made plans with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and visited them in their cities. I allowed myself to appreciate the moments I spent with them and to be present. I revisited my goal of listening by taking the time to think about the needs of those I interact with daily and trying to view the world from their perspective as well as my own. I have added this extra lense to as many conversations as I can.
I’m so glad I spent this month slowing down. Making times for friends, myself and relationships I feel like I have now built the steady loving habits I need to start plugging into my creativity. Bring it on May – I’m ready for you.