So why be Mindful in March?
On January 1st this year my new year's resolutions were to start a journal and try and be more mindful. Last year my interest and practice of mindfulness dipped, mainly due to difficult family circumstances. The irony being of course, that was just when I needed it most. I came very close to losing my dad in September, so close in fact he gave a very moving, some would say rousing goodbye speech during which he spoke of laughing lots, being very happy and not regretting a thing in his life. It made me look at my own life and think whether, under the same circumstances I'd have any regrets? The answer was a resounding yes. So, I saw this as a second chance - one of those moments in time when you stop and take stock of your life and how you are living it.
In January and February I was thinking and reflecting - meditating a bit and on one occasion I just had the idea of being Mindful in March. (Meditation does that - clears the mental clutter so there's space for ideas and good stuff!!!). The main aim being to commit to some form of daily practice, be more mindful in my everyday life and just engage more in what's happening around me. More recently I've noticed how much I operate on automatic pilot and in doing so I am missing out on valuable experiences. I thought it would be nice to share mindfulness with others, hear about other people's experiences or knowledge, encourage others and be encouraged - mindfulness is simple to do but hard to maintain - I also thought it would be nice to be part of a small, like-minded community. I like the creativity of writing, so I thought I'd try and blog about it too - useful to show progress (or the lack of it)! Either way, I just wanted to be in the moment more, taking a risk and seeing what emerged.
About a month ago I mentioned it in passing to friends who all said, great idea. Then at the start of the week I put it on Twitter - I felt that once it was out there I couldn't take it back. Boy was I scared once I'd done that! The usual stuff going on...what will people think of me, who does she think she is talking about mindfulness, what if no-one's interested. In a way none of that mattered because the mindfulness practice was for me to commit to - a way of developing my own practice. I didn't need anyone to share it with me - I just hoped that they would. So I started off, my lone voice whispering to Twitter, saying quietly what I was doing. Up popped a mindfulness friend, Jackie who said I'll do it too! So I went from being a soloist to forming a duet! Then Pam offered words of encouragement (doesn't she always) and before I knew it a lovely lady, Trisha from New Zealand said she'd have a nosy at what we were up to - and we mushroomed into a small but perfectly formed global community!
And here we are.....trying to fully engage with our lives, savour each moment and build resilience through mindfulness. Over the next 31 days I'll talk about, practice, enjoy, try and avoid and get giddy about mindfulness and all it's glories. I'll tweet about it and try and blog regularly. Most of all I just want to share something that is of tremendous benefit to all of us. I'm bringing it to the public domain as way of committing. I know there will be people nudging me and poking me to say "what are you up to" if I don't talk about mindfulness and that's really good for me. In the meantime, we can just have fun with it. It's not about being serious or achieving anything - it just is what it is! And that's the interesting bit!
So the question isn't why be Mindful in March? The question is why not?
Have a great mindful weekend!
PS: my dad's fine by the way - his goodbye speech raised his blood pressure and his inner determination not to leave my mum did the rest! Awesome!
For those of you who are interested I did a lovely sounds and thoughts meditation from Mark Williams at Oxford. Find it here http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness/