I’ve got the entire week off, which is both a blessing and a challenge. I’m definitely enjoying more sleep, more time outdoors, and more time reading and writing. However, I’m also thinking more, something which isn’t dangerous in and of itself, but when it becomes worrying about the future and ruminating on the past it starts to be unproductive. You may recall that I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I am mourning the death of my cat, “Diva”. Today I have time to comb through years of digital and printed photos in order to put together a memorybook for my sweet kitty. I had forgotten that the discs on which I keep my cat photos are stored next to several old photo albums. As I began paging through my high school and early college memories, I was pulled back in time. I noticed the fluctuation in my body shape, a fuller face one year and thinner face the next. I had a flashback to standing in my old bedroom, trying on the prom dress my mom made for me and saying, “I feel fat. I need to lose weight.” My mom said something like, “Where would you lose that weight from?” She knew I was already thin. My eating disordered inner critic told me otherwise. From that memory I bounced on to college, recalling my struggles to control my eating freshman year, when what I really needed was a trusted person with whom to share my deepest fears — rejection, abandonment, loneliness, failure.
In what was a cute coincidence, my cat, Galadriel, walked into the room where I originally began looking for photos of Diva and snapped me out of my trip down memory lane. I decided to put the high school and college albums away and do some mindful listening to bring myself back to the present. There is nothing inherently wrong with reflecting on the past or remembering good times, but when it becomes painful to do so, mindfulness can bring us back to the present, grounding us to what IS and not what WAS or what COULD BE.
If you’re looking to incorporate more mindfulness in your daily life, here are some great resources to help you get started:
What is Mindfulness?
Peace, joy, and health.