Monday, February 13, 2012

Increasing Mindfulness

In my ongoing search for inner peace and being able to reflect positive energy to those around me, I picked up "How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness." I feel being aware of simple daily pleasures, and not taking things for granted are important in my quest for inner peace.
The first reflection was to use your non-dominant hand in a task you perform everyday. I found this to be quite difficult. I can't say I actually did it very often, but I would think about doing it and imagine. For example, while I was at work, I would think about the modifications I would have to make to use my other hand. Quite honestly, I'd tell myself, if time was not of the essence, I would try it, but it is-so I'm not going to. Perhaps I failed the very first challenge of mindfulness but maybe not. I have an appreciation for having the use of my both my hands and being able to do my job. And, moreover, the limitations that people have in the work world that do not have the use or full use of their hands. In the world today, there are few job environments that allow for disabilities. Where can you go to work, where time is not of the essence? Where can you work, with limited use of any part of your body and be a part of the general public workforce? I'm sure there are some jobs out there, but do people tolerate the fact that it might take a few extra minutes for them to be "served." Is there patience in the world for this? I feel not, I feel there are few people who understand and will patiently wait for someone who has limited functioning of their hands or feet or processing skills.
With that, in my opinion, I did not fail the first challenge. I just uncovered an aspect of my life that I take for granted and will be more mindful to give the respect others deserve who aren't "full-functioning"...
The next challenge was to "Leave no Trace." This essentially means, pick up after yourself. Leave a room like you found it or like you never had been there. This is so hard for me! This exercise in mindfulness touches on the aspect of laziness in our lives. And that I am-which I knew before. But it also goes to explain how clutter in your life clutters your mind. When you have a clean area-you have a clean mind. Which I can conclude to be true.
In my opinion, this latest exercise in mindfulness was and will continue to be a challenge for me. It has opened my eyes to the extreme level of laziness I possess and the effects that it has on my everyday life. For example, I need to do my dishes. They are sitting there-right over there-and they are bothering me. I keep telling myself, I need to do them-and if I'd just do them, or had done them right after I was done using them, I would not have this anxiety I currently have but continue to procrastinate. Cluttered kitchen-cluttered mind. In my opinion-it's true.

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