More on mindfulness!

You all are so sweet. Thank you for your comments on yesterday's little post -- they ranged from affirmation to concern, and each one was so sweet. I forget sometimes that not all of you have been with me since the beginning of this blog, and so you may not know that I've written here about mindfulness quite a few times. The first time was here (almost 4 years ago! look at tiny baby James, not even a year old there!), and there is a quote in that post that I think warrants sharing again. It expresses, for me, the core of what a mindfulness practice is.

"If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not 'washing the dishes to wash the dishes.' What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea, either. While thinking of other things, we are barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus, we are sucked away into the future -- and we are incapable of actually living one moment of life!"

-Thich Nhat Hanh


I do know that being gentle with oneself is a huge step, but I have become a master at gentleness with myself, and I know when I need to step it up and employ some discipline. When I work hard (and it is hard work for me) on being fully present in the moment, then I know I am really living my life, rather than just existing in it, and that's so very important to me.

It's also important to my spiritual journey. Last year, a wise priest I know said, "Being in the moment allows us to be available to the eternal present all the time."

sick fiona

Anyway, I'm so heartened to know that so many of you are right there with me on this journey. I am a very goal-directed person (hello, Type-A personality), and really understanding, in my bones, that life is about the process has taken me a long time. I don't know that I'm there yet, but much closer.

Thank you all for being here, in this moment, with me.