Practicing Mindfulness: How SOL Writing Changed My Mood and My Life

Think about the things you do every day.  Most of them we do without thinking about them. We do them automatically such as brushing our teeth, washing dishes, making our beds, eating, sleeping…the list is endless.  Now think about the things you really pay attention to in your day.  For each of us it will be different.  For me these things include spending time with my daughter, taking a good walk, observing nature, reading before I go to sleep every night, and now…writing my daily slice.

I am not a participant in any organized religion.  The closest I come to spirituality is to believe in what I call The Church of Nature.  For me, this practice involves being out in the natural world, experiencing whatever phenomena are happening that day and deeply appreciating all the wonders of the world, big and small.  (I wrote about this in a previous blog.)  On my journey through life I have collected, consciously and sometimes unconsciously bits of wisdom from various sources that have helped me develop my own spiritual practice, the newest among them being the practice of “mindfulness.”

What is mindfulness?  I turned to a book on my shelf entitled, Awakening the Buddhist Heart,  for a definition to share with you.  I am not a  Buddhist, but I do find many of the Buddhist practices help me to see my life from a different perspective. Although I have known about mindfulness for some time since I first learned about the benefits of meditation, I think I have now arrived at a deeper understanding of it through the daily writing we have all been doing.

According to Lama Sura Das, the author of the above-mentioned book “The single greatest tool that we can all access to hep us connect to our true lives is paying attention, or the cultivation of conscious awareness, which Buddhists call ‘mindfulness.’ Mindfulness is how we connect to the reality of ‘what is.’ When we are fully mindful, we are better able to see the reality of any situation. This is called clear vision. When we are mindful, we have greater mastery over our own lives. When we are mindful, we find greater joy in the small moment-by-moment pleasures of life; we are more fully present, less absentminded. We can savor life and plumb deeper into its depths rather than merely wading in the shallows.”

I am not at all suggesting that everyone become Buddhist. But in the past 15 days I have realized that the daily practice of paying attention to something that is happening each day in one’s life is a kind of meditation, or mindfulness. It has helped me enormously by lifting me from the depression I was left with following cancer treatment and trying to reintegrate into a more joyful life. It has allowed me to focus on what is happening right now, today, rather than what has happened or might happen. Doing so has helped me to feel real happiness in my life again

So thank you, slicers, for being mindful by paying attention each day and writing about moments of your own life, and responding to others who are sharing their slices of life. Being part of this writing community has helped me to become more mindful and enjoy life again.

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8 thoughts on “Practicing Mindfulness: How SOL Writing Changed My Mood and My Life”

  1. This is lovely. I agree, knowing you are going to write something every day deepens your vision of of the day. Thanks for sharing this realization. I hadn’t thought abut it in quite this way before.

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  2. In order to write something every day, one must be mindful and snatch that fleeting thought or image before it dissolves. There are times during the year, I find it difficult to find a slice for Tuesday. Life does become routine, so we have to look inside the routine for that hidden gem.

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  3. You’ve really broadened my view of this process with this post. I was focusing on the effect it’s been having on my writing fluency, but now I’m thinking more about how it has changed the quality of my attention. Thank you.
    Janice
    pawlpblog.org

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  4. It IS wonderful as are YOU Barbara! So delighted to read your words and I agree that this daily writing expectation has made me more thoughtful about my days and more aware of what I might focus on. Mindfulness is hard for me at the moment. I always feel distracted. I am very guilty of staring at my phone. It is a bad habit that was born from too much Dora the Explorer on the television! While my kids watch that I scroll through my phone. But now I’ve started focusing on my phone when I should be playing with them. I find it hard to stay in the moment when my mind is jumping to all the things going on in the world. I like this reminder of mindfulness very much. So happy you are here in this writing community!

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  5. Forget the phone! Play with them!! I barely remember my children being that age and would give an eye-tooth to be able to go back in time and spend a day with them at that age. You have just acquired some of the bad habits of your generation and need some help getting back to the real YOU!
    Much love, Barbara

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