I have had my share of deeply mindful moments. Today was special. I looked out the window and it was snowing as had been predicted a few days ago. The snow started at about eight in the morning and it was a truly beautiful sight. The thick flakes created a very serene moment. I started getting my camera ready to make a short video clip to send to my grandson who does not get to see snow where he lives. Then I noticed the battery needed charging. I looked outside again and the beautiful white flakes had turned to rain. I had missed the moment.
It is too often that we want to photograph something to capture the moment forever on film but we miss the real moment. There may have been a squirrel frolicking about, also mesmerized by the snow. I may have missed someone looking up in awe of the heavenly white showers.
About a half hour later it started snowing again but it was not the same. The flakes were not as thick. The magic if you will was simply not present.I was so disappointed.
On snowy or rainy days I usually sit to paint or draw. I sat and tried to paint a snowy landscape. I ended up tearing up the paper and doodled instead. I later colored in the blank spaces. The colors reminded me of springtime. My mood changed almost immediately. I had lost that one moment I wanted to videotape but I was able to shift to a new mindset.
Sometimes mindful moments are purposeful and truly meant to help us shift gears to think about other things that help us to be more creative. A video camera captures special moments. Today my special moment was when I doodled my way into springtime. Only about five more weeks to go according to the ground hog. I cannot wait to sit and watch the flowers bloom.
Every exercise to become thinner, healthier or simply more at ease takes time and lots of patience. There is a certain rhythm and pace that you will need to develop as you become more mindful.
I developed a short-term plan for myself at the beginning of my journey. I think of myself as a spiritual person. I pray. I meditate. I like to read to become inspired.
The first thing I did was to go to the book store to get a few books on the concept of mindfulness. I found several books I liked and purchased them. (I will include a list later) I prepared index cards with quotes and ideas that seemed to fit my needs. Then I started a journal. I outlined my journal to cover a period of 30 days or a month. This is my way of making a commitment to the goal I want to carry out.
I jotted down three questions that I would be obligated to respond to every day. These are my three questions:
1. How were you mindful today?
2. What did you learn?
3. How do you think you benefited from the experience?
I tend to be a worry wart. I worry about my kids and grand kids. I worry about things I see happening around the world. My goal to become more mindful was to learn to become more relaxed and “not sweat the small stuff” so much. I kept reminding myself that in general I was pretty lucky. I am grateful for my life and every day is a gift.
I wanted to also develop my creativity and become more mindful of my poetry and writing. As an educator for more than half of my life, I knew that one thing I wanted to do was to help other people in someway. I missed teaching. I felt I was loosing my purpose.
So after keeping a journal for thirty days I realized that I had been on the right tract with my goals and my purpose to becoming more mindful. What I needed to stop paying so much attention to the news. I had become a news junkie after I retired. The truth is that bad news is what gets people’s attention. I try to worry less and pay attention to living and raising my vibe every day.
I started designing the life I truly want to live. I know I still have a lot of things I need to do on my bucket list of sorts. I discovered I have passions for many things and that I need to figure out ways to tap into the resources that will help me become more engaged.
I doodle a lot. I would say almost everyday. This is something I do almost instinctively. It relaxes me. I love the surprise when I am done.
1. Doodle away for about ten minutes.
2. Focus on one thought.
3. Use colored pencils or markers
4. Black and white doodling can also be interesting. Shade empty areas.
5. Reflect and relax.
When I paint or draw I feel I have entered a new dimension. I feel free. I focus on one thought and let the paint brush do the rest. Sometimes, I paint with my right hand and sometimes I use my left hand so that I stay focused. In this painting I switched back and forth. Hope you like it.
“Life just is. You have to flow with it. Give yourself to the moment.
Let it happen.” -Jerry Brown
Art by Melba Christie 2016
Our fourth grade teacher once told us to shoot for the stars. While some of us found this to be an unusual task because we took it literally, something told me that there would be many challenges in life. I have kept this in the back of my mind every time I take on a new project or want to achieve a new goal in my life.
Carl Jung said, “When goals go, meaning goes, when purpose goes, life goes dead on our hands.” Like the expression shoot for the stars this quote has also stayed with me for many years. I now know what the true meaning is for me specifically.
I still have many goals. Everyday when I wake up I think about the things I would like to do. I have a bucket list that certainly shoots for the stars. It is very ambitious. I wonder however why I waited so long to do the things I truly love and why I allowed myself to be detoured to other endeavors. I suppose this happens to many of us because after all, live happens in the meantime. I think about my purpose and what I have accomplished. Some days I believe I have fulfilled my purpose? I do not feel that “life goes dead in my hands” but I do feel I still have a ways to go to fulfill my purpose. Sometimes I think I know what my true purpose is and other times I wonder where it went.
Seneca, the great Roman poet said, “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” I think this is the key. We have to know what star to shoot for first of all. We must learn the right strategy to use. We must embrace the moment and the present and be grateful for our experiences. Experience is learning. We must understand that what we do counts and matters. Shoot for the stars every minute you can.