Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is… Set your minds on things above… For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3
Easter Thursday Prayer: Christ who shelters and nurtures my True Life, renovate my thoughts and heal my heart. Help me experience the JOY of being in this ONE moment.
(This week the evening drop of hope is dedicated to the courage-building skills of rising strong. It’s my way of staying in the Easter Spirit for the whole week!)
Yesterday, I forgot to write the Evening Drop of Hope. This happened because I was practicing mindfulness. Having started the week with a mindful Monday, I was planning to practice being in the NOW all week long! So, moving from afternoon tasks into the evening hours, I made the mental commitment to pay attention to my cooking and my housemates. I wasn’t going to let media, or the worries of the workday, take over my head. In the course of paying attention to my inner life, I dropped a task that matters.
This happens to me a lot. There seems to be a tradeoff between present moment awareness and getting my stuff done! If you have figured out how to have it both ways, please do share!
In any case, this little drop of hope is dedicated to the art of mindfulness, which you now know I am NOT qualified to teach.
What is mindfulness?
The definition of mindfulness I carry around with me comes from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune in to what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Colossians 3:1-3 is my theme verse for mindfulness. (See above.)
In order to practice mindfulness, I try to do a couple of elementary things that we teach in the Daring Way™.
First, I write myself a permission slip. For instance: “Permission to make dinner while only making dinner.” Or, “Permission to have fun with my housemates without squeezing in one last workday task.” If I’m feeling some stress, I might write this permission slip on a Post-It Note and physically place it in my space. Elementary, my dear!
The other elementary thing I do is pay attention to my breathing. Having decided to re-focus on the NOW, and having written a permission slip, I pay attention to what I’m feeling in my body. If I’m not relaxed and able to enjoy myself, I know that something is UP. The best way I know to pay attention to deeper truths in my body is to focus on my breathing. I’m currently favoring a breathing practiced called Ujjayi Pranayama used in various types of therapeutic Yoga. Here’s a short video, if you want to try it out.
I feel a little self-conscious recommending practices that might cause you to be less productive in the short-term. I’m also pretty hopeful that in the long run, we’ll be more creative and whole if we find mindfulness.