I lost a lot of money on Saturday. Not from gambling. Nor making a wrong business decision. I simply…misplaced it.
I spent following hours in a somewhat frantic search. Did I lose it in the house? Perhaps I dropped it during errands? Could I have accidentally put it in the mailbox?
My concern for losing the money was matched by the unsettling thought that I simply couldn’t remember why. What had I been doing before, during and after that time? I mentally tried to retrace my steps, only to hit a brain-dead-end at every turn.
And so it went. All weekend.
While I’m not thrilled at flushing away a week’s hard work, the outcome could have been so much worse.
I didn’t lose my health or ruin my relationships. I just lost some cash.
And as sore as it might make me feel, part of me is grateful. Here was an important (albeit expensive) reminder that I haven’t been living mindfully, and I needed to slow down.
If YOU don’t slow down the universe will send something that slows things down for you.
2017 started with a bang; from early January I hit the ground running, and I haven’t stopped. And even though I take time to prioritize my health, and implement the daily habits that keep me feeling fit, well, and content, it has become apparent that something is missing. That something, my friend, is the ability to live mindfully.
Mindfulness is the ability to focus your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and physical sensations.
In contrast to this description, I’ve spent this year multi-tasking and multi-thinking. I imagine that my brain is hosting a national ping-pong tournament, where ideas, to-dos, memories, and premonitions bounce through my cranial arena with alarming speed.
And even though I’ve been working on being more mindful of late, I still have a long way to go.
A Perfect Time For A Personal Challenge
Once I realized that I needed to do something different, to feel more centered and focused in my day-to-day, I committed to taking 10 minutes every afternoon to practice mindfulness meditation. To make things easier, I’m using an app like Headspace or Calm (guided meditation is best for beginners like me). And I’ll add this appointment on my calendar for the early afternoon when the ping-pong players are warming up their distracted paddles.
There’s Always Space To Grow
I’m sharing this story and my personal goal with you as a reminder that none of us have this healthy living thing completely figured out. There is always room for self-reflection and improvement, and it’s A-OK to make mistakes if you’re open to learning something from them.
This week I’ve realized that I need to live more mindfully, else risk my retirement fund going down the gurgler. Expensive lesson. Valuable lesson. Actionable lesson.
Now I’d Love To Hear From You
- Do you ever feel like your brain is stretched in a dozen directions at once?
- Are you living on autopilot, or do you get stressed over little things, for no apparent reason?
- If so, are you willing to join me on this 10-day experiment to get a little more mindful?
Or perhaps you already take mindfulness seriously and have established a daily practice — meditation or otherwise. If that’s you, I’d love to hear about what works for you, and how you figured it out.
Please join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.