Friday, February 7, 2014

Mindfulness: Weeks 2 and 3

I'm covering weeks two and three together. Because I've been too dang tired to do anything. This is the first full week of school we've had since before Christmas break. And it's been exhausting. Luckily, it's been that way for everyone at school so I don't have to blame it on my age.

So, what have I noticed so far?

I am more aware of my very active mind. At first, I had to bring it back through the entire meditation. Now, it's not as often, though it does still wander. And it happens without me noticing most of the time. Suddenly, I become aware that my mind is going in a gazillion directions or telling me some falsehood that has no business in my mind to begin with. It is becoming easier to see them from the beginning but I'm not there yet. I just stop them when I do become aware and go back to the breathing---to noticing the breathing. When I first started week 2 my mind wandered more when I was quiet and still. Now, it's more when I'm on go. 

I am on 110% go all the time in every situation--in other words, I have one speed: fast. I have been going through my life on autopilot. Very dumb. I feel like someone with ADHD who has just started taking meds that have enabled the person to notice for the first time in 30 years that the house next door is white blue. It's just craziness. I've noticed little things: the way the steam comes off my morning coffee and the rich color that is so inviting. Before, all I noticed was the rich aroma that I love so much. Now, I love more about coffee. And I've noticed that the taste is my least favorite thing about it. I've noticed that the palms trees make a unique sound when the wind blows through them and that, when it blows through the tall South Carolina pines, they make a 'whoosh' sound. Silly things? Maybe. But I am awakening to my surroundings. And I like it.  

I have a hurry up and just get it done mentality towards everything I do. If it's cleaning- hurry up and get it done. If it's eating- hurry up and get it done. If it's grocery shopping- hurry up and get it done. I even play beat my time with certain things. This one is going to take some time. Yes, it's related to the autopilot but it's also separate. I can slow down and pay attention in some situations. But, the ones that are rote or boring or uninteresting or have-tos, I am having quite a difficult time slowing down and becoming aware of them. Though I did become aware that I do this so that's something.  

I notice now that I start to tense up when I go into full out mode. From head to toe. AND, my thoughts go crazy. Half the time, I don't even realize what I'm doing.

My mornings are too busy. I need to arise earlier or take some morning things out of the morning routine. During week 3, I decided to keep meditations in my mornings but they were longer. And I have to walk Tucker. And have coffee. So...

I watch more television than I thought I did. Sort of. It's on all the time because I like the noise. I'm not watching it per se. I am turning it off now (sometimes just muting it) and turn on my music. And I've noticed that this is helpful in limiting distractions. 

The five senses are really kicking in allowing me to notice more about---more. Somewhat related to the above noticeable about the wind in the trees are the things I've become aware of while walking Tucker on the nature trail. One morning the ground was frozen and the sound of the crunch of my shoes on the icy blades of grass was loud and clear and I could feel the hardness of the ground as opposed to days when the ground isn't frozen. I became aware that there is a distinct difference in the sound, feel and smell of between the marsh and the woods. We walk down a path through the woods to the marsh and, if we stand right between the two, I can hear the different birds, the different sound the wind makes and the musty, damp smell of the woods when I turn my head one way and the open, salty smell of the marsh when I turn the other way. One side is bright and open the other is darker and closed. One is filled with blues and browns while the other is filled with greens and browns.

Some habits are really, really ingrained and will be difficult to break- though I am more mindful of them now. A bad mood or thought, for example, is something I can sort of notice as it arrives and recognize it for what it is. Unless, apparently, it's related to exhaustion in which case, the negativity and stress tend to win out. At home this is more manageable than, say, walking to the car from school and driving home. 

I am well on the road to taking things a bit slower and being aware of my surroundings. Even when doing something like feeding Tucker. I now notice things like a cold floor and the fact that I don't have on my slippers. Or that, when I prepare food slowly, I appreciate it more. Though I'm still working on slowing down the actual eating of the food.

Basically, I am becoming more aware. This is a good thing.Though I'm not sure this post makes much sense. Except in my own mind. LOL

Week 4 begins tomorrow. I started this in an effort to slow down and reconnect with my spiritual life. Becoming aware is offering good things so far. I'll keep y'all posted on the next level. 


  1. Like you, I raced as fast as my mind all my life, until, as I told you I used deep breathing. Sometimes if and when you find yourself "racing", inhale deeply, allowing oxygen to hit your brain and say "it's not a race, it's not a race" for me...good luck...:)JP

  2. JP- I like that mantra---It's not a race...thanks! I'll give it a try!

  3. I find it hard to go in anything but fast mode too - too much to do and so little time!

    I swear I have my couple glasses of wine at night if for no other reason it makes me sit down and relax!

    You might of missed the post, but my husband has been out of work since July, so I had to get a second job to make ends meet. My paycheck pays all our bills, with some leftover. The $$ from working Friday and Saturday nights pays for everything else - prescriptions, gas, groceries, etc. So far its working - although on the nights I have to work the bar and don't get home until 2:30 in the morning, I am reminded that I am 45 - not 25 - ha!


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