I mean no disrespect by telling you this story …….. it started as I watched one giant oversized SUV on a small town congested road, barreling down on a nun driving a modest 4-door car. The driver of the van may not have known much about the driver in the car in front of him, probably could not see her, as he was just about nudging her into the cross-section.
I watched as my car sat perpendicular to them and equally stuck in traffic. As both cars ground to a halt, the nun in the first car gave a quick ‘flip of the bird’ to the overbearing driver behind her.
It was my best smile of the day.
Yes, it is quite hard to always be ‘mindful,’ while some would say that is not a mindful approach….if she can flip the bird, well then!
I have become so interested in all subjects ‘mindful’ be it “positive psychology,” “transformation,” “meditation,” “wealth consciousness,” “neuroscience,” well you get the list – – I read about it in my spare time, for pleasure.
I remain inspired by the variety in which the way the word mindful is used, in posts, sites, magazines, and all the mentors that continue to grow in the field. It’s just so hard to keep reading about these ‘simple but not simplistic’ techniques and ways of being (truth be told, I use this language myself) and yet know that except for the very few – most of us cannot be perfectly mindful all day, every day, not sure we even should be (i.e. nun in the car.)
So for me, I’ll keep on reading, learning, implementing and try to let it be.
Here are a few basic tools that I have come across that I have found particularly creative and have offered me a way to release the tension. There are so many choices in the mindfulness arena that serve different purposes and resonate with different temperaments, here are just a few.
Journaling: I’m an avid fan even before Julia Cameron made it popular and Progoff offered national workshops. Journaling is a go-to resource for me, it works most of the time except when I’m at such an elevated level of feeling mad or stressed, then I usually find I have to do something physical first.
There is structured and freestyle journaling. Use this as your personal opportunity to let it rip, go ahead and let yourself dump out the frustrations, yeah buts and other sludge of life thoughts. Next let yourself freestyle, do not edit your thoughts or guide them, simply see what lies below your conscious mind by writing with the flow, and when you do not think you have more to say – push yourself to write another 3 minutes. Often a brainspot – a wonderful delicious answer to a problem, or idea will perculate forward. Lovely. At the very least it is a good release, and a record of sorts that would otherwise go unnoticed – the patterns and thoughts of life.
Shinrin Yoku – The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing – you may think of it as a walking meditation, or a nice quiet moment in nature – Sometimes, when I’m really ‘filled up to here’ walking in nature is the way to go – it just came naturally to me as I got older, this wasn’t something I was aware of or necessarily exposed to when I was a kid. So it’s interesting to see there is a whole body of research on the physiological changes and benefits from Forest Bathing. If you don’t have this opportunity near you, any exposure to quiet and fresh air, sunshine, or even spending a few quick moments looking at a peaceful picture can shift one’s physical and thus mental mood. I’ll be sharing more information on Shinrin Yoku ’cause I’m delighted to learn more about something that just felt like a natural ‘cure’ to me prior to reading the literature.
Anyway, on days when I haven’t been particularly mindful – I don’t feel so bad when I think of the flying Nun.