“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structures of reality.” – Albert Einstein
I love a good question. I loved it especially when the questions were posed by my students. I always told my students that no question is silly, stupid, or a waste of time. We had a question board with the headline “QUESTIONING MAY BE THE ANSWER”. I had several pockets on the board with various categories. For example one group was “absolutely must know”. Those were usually the most challenging questions. The students wanted to stump me at times. But I made it clear that there were questions I would have to research to give them an correct response and a responsible one at that. But I also told them that sometimes a question would bring lots of controversy.
Some questions were very mindful as well. The questions were thoughtful and many times very profound. This is what I call mindful questioning. It is the question that was based on careful observation of something. It was the question that needed careful analysis and deep thought.
My students knew that those questions would make me very proud. I would praise those students by giving them a certificate that proclaimed them as thinkers. That made them proud.
I miss that activity very much. I try to propose a mindful question every day for my own mindful thinking experience. I learned recently that this type of exercise helps your brain stay sharp because the process helps to learn something new.
Since I do not have a captive audience anymore I thought I might ask the readers of this blog to send me a mindful question. I will not promise to research every question myself but I hope that the questions I post will stimulate a conversation.
Do you have a mindful question? Please post your question in the comments section.
Happy mindful questioning!
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.
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.