When writers ask each other “How’s your W.I.P?” they are inquiring about a work in progress. Whatever current project you happen to be working on at that moment; novel, script, short story, blog, etc.
While I do have something I’m working on, other than this blog, it’s not the W.I.P. I’m referring to in this piece. Today I am looking at my progress in my ongoing quest, to live a more mindful life. One only has to google ‘mindfulness’ and you will come upon many articles describing what it is, with each author giving their own tips and examples of how to live more mindfully.
I’m not going to lie. This week has been a struggle. There seems to have been a battle raging in my head.
My mind seemed overrun by my list of “have to’s” leading me to operate more on automatic pilot than in a deliberate, mindful way.
I’m sure you have experienced this. The end of the day comes and you wonder where did the day go? What did I accomplish? Did I have lunch?
Since committing myself to living more mindfully. I will say the one thing I am better about doing is realizing when I’m in this state. I no longer let days, or even weeks, go by before I recognize what is happening and take hold of the situation.
One of the best indicators I’ve found in helping me to recognize when I’m being more reactive, than proactive, in my day-to-day living, is my breathing.
Mindful living experts will tell you…Pay attention to your breathing. Calm breath = Calm mind. I was so crazed the other day I actually couldn’t tell you if I was breathing or not. I mean, obviously I was because I’m still here typing this but I wasn’t cognizant of my breathing at all. My breaths were more shallow and not the deep mind clearing, relaxing, breaths of someone living in the present moment.
Many mindful living experts write about the benefits of meditation. Many agree a regular practice can help reduce stress, improve cognitive function and boost well-being. I have personally experienced many positive benefits but it was through meditating that I became more cognizant of my breathing. Now when I am feeling stressed, all I need to do is take several deep breaths, and I instantly feel calmer.
I’ve also read mindfulness isn’t about being ‘happy’ all the time. I believe we all know that’s impossible; at least I hope we all know that. I think it’s about accepting whatever feeling you’re experiencing at the moment, truly feeling it without trying to ignore or control it, then moving on from it.
My family members and friends know I am the queen of one line sayings and “deal now or deal later” is a favorite of mine. Think about it…isn’t it much easier to deal in the present moment than later on, after some thought, feeling or emotion has had time to grow some roots?
Well, I need to run. One of my “must do’s” is calling. But first…a few deep breaths!