Creating moments

I read an article in the UUWorld magazine yesterday (which I am unable to access on the net) about creating moments.  The article was written by Mary Pipher (Reviving Ophelia) about how to be present in our own lives.  Pipher expressed that we all have the opportunity to have those moments – which are often bound up with our children, our pets, and nature.  She discussed having happiness contests with a close friend, in which they challenge each other to find happiness moments during their day.  Cooking a delicious soup, planting and truly feeling the dirt, watching the snow fall with a crackling fire beside you.  I have thought much about this since reading the article.

This morning, while walking and doing a minimal amount of running at Furman University (gorgeous campus), I made myself remember that to have those moments, I must be present in my own life.  I looked into the trees, some of which are getting a tiny touch of fall, and paid attention to the colors.  I watched a black swan in the lake dip his head into the water, and bathe himself in the early morning light.  I examined the faces of several students as they passed by, deep in thought about something in their lives.  I watched a squirrel carrying a hunk of bread to the bushes, and squat over to munch his find. 

How present are you in your life?  Do you see the hummingbirds at the window?  Do you admire or study the pink sky as the sun slides into the west?  This a great challenge to me because I have SO MANY things to do.  But I want to be present in my life.

I am attempting to un-learn multi-tasking.  If I’m talking to someone, I truly force myself to be there with that person.  If I’m in the grocery, I try to look at the redness of the tomato and notice the thickness of its skin.  I try.  I will have to keep trying because remembering to have those moments and to be present does not come easy to me.  I’m a busy busy person, and the thoughts careen most days.  But I’m trying, and I will keep on.  I want to be present today.


A Mindful Year

Every so often, I make the attempt to get more organized.  I recognize that when I am organized (or moreso), I feel much more accomplished and I actually get things done.  If I plan my day before I find myself in the middle of one, I do much better.  Sometimes I find help in reading specific books that allow me to see myself better, and monitor those actions where I need help.

Last year, I picked up Jennifer Louden’s The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year.  Now I must confess that I have not read it completely, nor worked it thoroughly.  I have made pitiful attempts, and in doing so, I have become more aware of things I do to avoid doing.  I believe that 50% of success in life involves just showing up, which is not a specific problem for me.  But it is the other 50% that I struggle with.  Prolific writers make me nuts.  I want to be prolific, I know I can be prolific, if the details of life would just stop interrupting.  But this is about the avoidance dance.  (wow – dance is at the end of “avoidance”). 

What are my self-initiated distractions?  Where do I allow my attention to wander when I don’t want to do what I must to feel good about myself?  I have the game brick breaker on my Blackberry.  I’ve gotten very good at it.  There are some lessons there (the 10,000 hour thing – if you do anything 10,000 hours, you are going to by force become great at it.  Just saying.)  I can chat with people I will never meet on the internet.  I can find a movie that will fit into my history studies, and spend an afternoon watching.  I can let the lure of the dust call me from my furniture and get up to rid my home of that terrible blight – which didn’t bother me at all when I sat down to write.  I can fold clothes, fill the dishwasher, play with the dogs, answer the phone…my god, it really is endless.

Or – and this is the part that gets me – Or I can follow the plan, spend the time I allot for writing and then – and ONLY then – get to the time wasters.  That is what reading the very small portion of this book has done for me.  I have identified my own time wasters yet I know that when I stay focused and finish doing what I planned on doing NO MATTER WHAT, that I will feel much better about me at the end of the day.  So I will finish this book, and this will be the only book I allow myself during this next three months outside of the books I must read.  As I finish my thesis.

What are your time wasters?  What lures you away from the creativity you truly want in your life.  Google the above book, and see if you think it could help you.

Interesting Stuff

Let’s just say that my sense of humor is a little off today.  You may want to give me the freedom to be terribly uncomfortable in August.  So I went looking for something, anything, to make me laugh.  This was it.  If you have a hankering to read some terribly odd yet interesting facts, take a look.  A pig has a 30 minute orgasm???