Monday, 4 March 2013

The mindfulness post - or thinking about buying a onesie

Not mindful at all. Observe how even the slender and
and beautiful look a bit daft in these...
I was about to put a bid on a fetching spotty cotton-mix onesie on Ebay when I realised I was having a moment. Not a goodness I love him/hate him moment, nor a the-only-way-to-get-thinner-is-to-eat-less moment either, but a moment nonetheless. 

The fact that I was squandering precious time considering buying a garment that would - while no doubt bringing much comfort - still look hideous, was significant. 

Why was spending money on something I would never wear and didn't even want more important than spending time on something that would bring me multiple benefits and that I was committed to?

Excellent question, indeed. Something to be considered mindfully.

Mindfulness has been on my mind a lot. Not least because I've just completed a course on the subject with Everyday Mindfulness Scotland...

I have tried unsuccessfully to write a succinct definition of mindfulness, and can phrase nothing better than this from Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention from moment to moment to whatever arises, with curiosity and without judgement. 

That's all well and good, but the practice also includes spells of meditation. I don't mean limb entangled, orange robed meditation for hours - although that would work too. I'm simply talking about the practice of focusing on breath and stilling the mind, deliberately, for a few minutes.

Easy peasy, you say. 

Indeed. However, for each of the past ten days I have tried to find ten measly minutes a day to sit quietly and shut my eyes. 600 seconds. And for three of those ten days, I have been interrupted, while for at least three of the remaining sessions I was anticipating an interruption - hardly soothing or conducive to the necessary concentration. 

What does this mean?

Not that I've got an insanely busy existence, where I'm so crucially important that only I will do at any given moment. No, not at all. 

Having pondered the situation. Both in an out-of-control stroppy way and in a mindful sitting with it calmly and considering way. I must conclude that the nub of the thing is that I'd rather do the laundry than sit with myself for ten minutes. 

Of course I have no clue what this tedious revelation means. Only it does mean something. I have noticed, and that's the thing.

So no more onesie gazing for me, but until I can find something more insightful to say on the subject this poem seems to hit the spot.  

The song I have come to sing

remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my life
stringing and unstringing
my instrument.

Rabindranath Tagore

6 comments:

  1. I think that's actually a pretty insightful insight (my English prof is cringing right now). I'd never really thought about it, but you've made me wonder if I'd rather do anything than spend 10 minutes alone in my thoughts...hmm...

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    1. An insightful insight. I like that.

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  2. I know exactly what you mean, but I think you're an intuitive person anyhow and more in touch with that inner knowing (or 'inner tuition') part of yourself that you might give yourself credit for, so get your insights and realisations and ideas by leading your daily life? I think this is the general consensus, by the way, on my little experiment!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Perhaps making space for mindfulness is a way of listening to the inner tutor.

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  3. I love that poem. I may have to print it out and stick it on the fridge door so I can ponder it when I'm pottering out doing... nothing.

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