The weekend was busy. Like, busy to the point of not being at all restful and lacking some of the usual qualities of a weekend. It was busy, fun, exciting, and generally time well-spent. The weather was hot and sunny – summery. The performances I saw were worth seeing. I had great conversations with people I’d only just met. I got my eyes seen to on Saturday, and will pick up new glasses sometime next week. I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time (years). I enjoyed an exceptional brunch. I visited the Farmer’s Market, and also the Portland Saturday Market. It was a fun weekend out in the world.

I also took time for quiet moments.

I woke to the alarm this morning. My bones ache and my feet are sore from a weekend of dancing in the sunshine. I’m not quite sunburned; I used plenty of sunscreen. I’m “still thirsty” from the days spent in the summer sun, and drinking water along with my morning coffee. I find myself trying to cram a weekend worth of “recovery” into the brief Monday morning hours before a new work week begins – unsuccessfully. It doesn’t work that way. lol

The self-care practices of the week ahead have become quite important; next weekend I will head down south to see my Traveling Partner, and I am eager to enjoy his company for a couple days, but there’s little about it that I expect to be “restful”. I expect to be joining him somewhere out in the trees for a bit of camping, but beyond that, I have no idea what the weekend holds. Love. I know there will be Love, and that’s enough. πŸ˜€

I read an article about mindfulness this weekend. I was prepared to argue with it, because of the rather confrontational headline, but as I read it, I found myself generally in agreement. It wasn’t attacking mindfulness practices, themselves. The article is critical of the commercialization of, and lack of understanding of the purpose of, mindfulness. I found the article insightful. I read it twice more. It’s not the sort of thing to change my thinking about my own practices, nor to discourage me from them, but it definitely supports (for me) a better understanding of “why it doesn’t work” for some people in the way that it does work for me. I’m specifically not using mindfulness to try to be more efficient at work, for example, or to eliminate stress from my own experience while I continue to deliver a stressful experience to others, or for financial gain. I use mindfulness to improve my emotional resilience so that I can continue to improve my emotional wellness, without turning away from the hard bits of work ahead, while also being a kinder and more compassionate human being out in the world. I use it to improve my perspective on my experience. It seems very effective for those purposes.

Mindfulness is also something that requires real practice. Daily. Not just demonstrations of moments of mindfulness (looking your way “mindfully eating a raisin” lol), I mean actual real-world practicing of practices that, ideally, result in being a better person than I was yesterday, and these are practices that require repetition (otherwise, they’d be “tasks”). We become what we practice. Sure, mindful awareness – totally worth practicing – and also “deep listening” (listening to others mindfully and fully aware and in the moment), and basic consideration. Think about that; simple considerate behavior towards others is a practice of mindfulness. We could hardly be truly considerate without being present, and being aware of that other person, and what they may need, themselves.

I start the week awake. Aware there is more to practice, and a journey ahead that is unscripted and unfolds moment by moment through my choices. (Yours, too.) I smile and sip my coffee. Mindfulness. Perspective. Sufficiency. Building blocks that led me here. Consideration matters too; I become what I practice. I am writing my own script. I am my own cartographer. Incremental changes over time built on the choices I make now. Fancy.

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

My coffee has gone cold. I finish it off and check the time. There is time for several little chores to be handled before I leave for work. The forecast suggests a hot day, and I decide driving to the office will be the better self-care choice, when I consider getting home in the heat. Each choice matters. πŸ™‚ I begin again. You can too.

Will you?