mindfulness or whatever

October 20, 2008

wow, thanks for the boot commentary! because i just dropped some cash-money on the orange j. crew coat (yay!), i think i will sit on the footwear decision for the next couple of months and treat myself to the boots as a seriously well-deserved present after my second PICU stint in january. maybe some of the beauties will even be marked down by then — dare i hope? to be honest, the best thing to do would probably be to try them all on! i could venture to the local nordstrom, but they aren’t likely to have quite the selection. zappos.com does have a full-on guaranteed free shipping AND free return policy, so maybe i will order them ALL and have a crazy boot party before sending 4 of 5 pairs back. i think that’s legit, right? i am guessing that’s sort of the purpose of their policy. and it would be super-fun to luxuriate in 5 pairs of boots for a few hours.

but i’m getting WAY ahead of myself. i should be focusing on living in the moment, right? i can still enjoy the current moment even without fabulously hot boots in my life. actually, day 1 of the mindfulness experiment went quite well yesterday. i managed to remain much calmer than normal while in the high-anxiety land of our community hospital, and i even enjoyed the experience to some degree. it certainly helped that it was very quiet and i got to spend most of the day studying/working on my presentation, but i think i had a better day because i just focused on my work rather than spending hours pouting about having to be there on a sunday.

so what is mindfulness, anyway?
my father asked me this yesterday (he is a faithful blog reader although he doesn’t like to comment very often). i am NO expert whatsoever. but what i’ve taken away from reading various magazine articles, blog posts, and thich nhat hanh’s the miracle of mindfulness are a few basic principles. mindfulness to me is:

• focusing on each moment as it is happening
• trying to just live without judgment of every little thing that happens (either self-judgment, like “I’m SO dumb, WHY am i running late again!??” or judgment of others)
• observing one’s own natural reactions to things in a calm, thoughtful manner. for me, this often involves noticing that i am getting tired/angry/frustrated, and simply noticing this and acknowledging/allowing these feelings sometimes helps to stop a toxic or unproductive thought process from building and really taking over
• taking steps to actively relax (by meditating, reading, running, whatever) when i notice the tired/angry/frustrated feelings starting to take over

AM routine
and with that, i am headed to the gym to get my first fix of the aforementioned relaxation time. i am still LOVING the morning workouts! i don’t know how i will try to work it next month when i have to be at work at 6 AM, but i have already started scheming. running/working out to wake my body up and being able to just rest at the end of the day feels so much more natural to me now.



workout: rest day!

cooking: none, but we finished off the rest of the leftovers — the lilly’s pizza and my lentil concoction. super-convenient and still tasty.

studying: 2+ hours while out at the community hospital. thankfully, i had a quiet day!

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