Regular readers will know that I often bang on a bit about mindfulness. Not in the context of any particular religion but just as a practice that helps me to live life in a more aware and awake way. In a way that acknowledges the preciousness of waking up each day-something that for various reasons, I don’t take for granted.
If we live mindfully, I think we have a better chance of recognising the choice that is inherent in each moment. If we see the choice, we’re less likely to react automatically, or habitually. If we actually recognise that we have a choice, we can try to react in a loving way but if we are on autopilot, we are less likely to realise we have a choice about what we do.
In my experience, mindfulness is very connected to creativity. It is noticing the right here, right now and creativity is noticing what we notice ( a Bayles and Orland line from Art and Fear) and responding to that.
For me, mindfulness is not easy and I am always on the look out for ways that help me to live more mindfully. Recently, perusing a post by the lovely Cynthia in PCD, I was prompted to check out Amy Crawley’s site. Her hearts, the subject of the post, were indeed beautiful, but what really intrigued me were her Monday Musings which were all about a book called How to Tame a Wild Elephant and Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays.
Bays defines mindfulness as deliberately paying full attention to what is happening around you and within you…awareness without criticism or judgement. And her first exercise is a ripper! All week I have been much more mindful than normal because I have been using my non-dominant hand for a number of activities. (BTW, using my non-dominant hand to do the Sudoku in the loo was not such a winner for those waiting outside but boy was I mindful).
Having removed a bit of my left thumb meant that I had a bandage to remind me to use that hand for the selected activities. (An important aside: the thumb tip removal was not related to using my non-dominant hand but happened before I got the book and was directly connected to my dominant handed use of the lovely sharp knife our younger daughter gave her dad. I am still getting used to owning quality knifeware)
Bays talks about the many lessons that emerge from this exercise and you can read the book to find out about them but a big one for me was to recognise again the value of the beginner’s mind and the way that made you more open to possibilities.
But, enough already, more on that later…and in case you’re wondering, the photos bear no link to the post at all. Just thought I’d show some of my non polymer jewellery for a change.