2021-05-10 A Kindfull Kind of Mindfulness

Even in low moments when we feel useless or of no value, thoughts of kindness can give us strength. It takes less than 5 minutes to think of an episode of kindness, either that someone has shown to us or that we have shown to someone else. It doesn’t have to be an epic act… it can be as simple as offering a kind word or smile. Remembering these moments and how they make us feel in detail and then filing them away in our mental wallet to recall at a future down moment, can be useful. 

My husband and I were recently at a store buying a barbecue grill. We had decided to try and load the grill in his vehicle and we’re in the parking lot with the employee helping us. It was pretty clear it was going to be a tight fit, and likely not even possible without potentially damaging either the grill or the inside of his vehicle or both. 

At that moment a stranger walked up and offered to load it on his pickup truck and follow us back to our house. Just like that.. an offer to help with no expectation for anything in return. We happily accepted help and we’re just amazed with such selfless kindness.. from a complete stranger. 

After the grill was unloaded my husband tried to give the guy some cash, but he refused. They shook hands and my husband said he would “pay it forward.” 

If everyone paid it forward a little more, the world would certainly be a better place. 

I told my friend Rebecca about this just after it happened and she recalled a story of a complete stranger that helped her unload her cart full of groceries at Costco when she was 8 months pregnant. 

It’s these little instances we should try to remember. 

I’ve had some up and down days lately and frankly have been feeling a little selfish with my time and energy. I’ve been shying away from commitments and letting planned conversations go. This may be contributing to my mood. 

This week I’m going make an effort to practice what I’m preaching and see how that affects my mood. One day, one smile, one helpful act at a time. We’ll see. 

That’s it for today. Time to take on Monday and make something out of it! 

Peace, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-29 All Time Can Be “Me Time”… 🧘‍♀️

Our days are filled with responsibilities and tasks and it is common to feel that we don’t have enough time for ourselves in our over scheduled lives. We can cultivate “me time” by establishing mindfulness in our bodies through a steady awareness of our breath or our posture. This gives us the super power of making all time “me” time. No matter what we’re doing, if we are able to stay connected to some aspects of our physical experience, we can be present around the clock.

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I constantly struggle to balance and rebalance my life and all the things I’ve got going on.

One of the goals I set for myself a few months ago was to meditate daily. I’ve tried again and again to reboot this desire and each time I’ve failed. Each time I find myself failing, I’m quick to blame time. It just slips away and I’m unable to prioritize the meditation over whatever else it is in that moment that’s squeaking louder. 

I’ve evaluated this predicament and asked myself why it is I can be so successful with getting my daily steps in but not meditation. The conclusion again points to time. I already have carved out a dedicated time each day to walking and most days, at six or seven or 8 AM, I don’t yet have anything else that is so pressing that it would prevent me from hitting the treadmill. 

I tried setting a time in the afternoon to meditate, but every damn day, when that time arrived, I was right in the middle of something else or rushing somewhere in the car. I know if I was more adept at meditation, I could do it anywhere, even at a stoplight in the car for 30 seconds. But I’m not that good. I kind of need a quiet space and also to be alone. 

I could probably try first thing after Jim leaves for work in the morning. Or… I can try to reframe my attempts at mindful “me time” with the approach described above. 

Several weeks ago I tried a new exercise venue with different group classes and one of those classes was a “body flow” which is a hybrid yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. I absolutely love the instructor and one of the things she said is that at least once a day she pauses in whatever eyes doing just to take a few really deep breaths. 

She has an alarm for 12:15 each day and that’s her reminder. She said that all the rushing and “short” breaths we utilize all day long are invoking the “fight or flight” instinct and taking the deep breaths gets us out of that stressful state of mind. Doing that exercise, just the deep breathing, is enough to feel better and more relaxed. And unlike my issue with meditation, I can do it anywhere. 

I can also focus on my posture, or do a quick stretch anywhere. Both of those make me feel so good so why wouldn’t I want to just fit little moments in all day long?

Then I ask myself, how different is this from meditation anyway? Focusing on the breath and how the body feels are the key tenets I’ve learned about meditation thus far, so the only difference is the amount of time and my preconceived notions about when and where. 

What better time a there than right now to start treating myself to all sorts of “me time” throughout the day?? There’s not. 

It’s Monday again. I’m ready. Let’s go! 

Cheers to Today, 

~Miss SugarCookie