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Practicing Mindfulness

A friend of mine said to me yesterday, the mind is more limiting and the heart is more open.

My granddaughter called me last night to let me know she watched the mermaid movie we recommended. She must have been holding the phone around her waist and while on FaceTime, her hair was hanging in her face, and she was jumping up and down. It was hard to understand her. I could feel her joy though and with certain words got the gist of her message. She loved the movie and was excited to tell me about it.

Yesterday we also received flower gifts of beautiful blooms with a fragrance that caused me to pause, lift my head and breathe. The messages in the flowers are of love and sharing the beauty of these heirlooms that come again and again every summer.

I realize with both these encounters, I’m present with my mind and my heart along with my eyes, ears, nose and mouth. The whole of me experienced these gifts.

I also had several encounters that were stressful yesterday driving on the highway negotiating around the chaos on the streets, the rush of people, almost like a blaring horn. I yelled at myself to pay attention so I wouldn’t get into an accident. I had to put my heart away for a time to mind my head.

It’s difficult to be in a heart-centered space among mind-centered activities. My key is to leave the door open between the two so I maintain access to my heart but operate with my mind when this strange world demands focus and attention.

Mindful living takes work. Rising to the demands of my activities all the while maintaining an open heart. I can’t let too much heart out or it will get trampled. I don’t want to lose myself in my mind because I’ll miss the precious things that make me feel alive. Finding the balance is the key and sometimes it feels like a balancing act.

  • The practice of mindful living honors both my mind and my heart.

  • The practice of mindful living allows me to move easily between the two.

  • The practice of mindful living includes honoring my sense of safety.

  • The practice of mindful living is using my breath to pause in myself.

  • The practice of mindful living allows me to let go of chaos and connect with my heart again.

  • The practice of mindful living supports silence

  • The practice of mindful living gives me heightened awareness for self-care.

  • The practice of mindful living encompasses my whole self.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I liked your words about mindful living, and about living in the heart and mind. You got the benefit of it when you were able to notice the flowers and enjoy your granddaughter. When we have a clear mind, we can focus. The other way is to approach things with stress and then not really experience them. It’s about integration, they enhance each other. Heart enhances mind.

  • Yes. I thought I had to lose my ego to be in my heart. It’s not true. We can have both.

  • I am flying to another city to meet my new granddaughter. We will have to quarantine ourselves for two weeks before we can meet her. My mind is all over the place and it is hard to settle down. I am glad to sit down here for this time.

  • The reading was powerful. I focused on mindfulness. I am writing a novel and I started getting into my character’s mind when she is having to make a mindful decision. Very parallel.

  • I was in a happy place yesterday and had to go to work which had lots of chaos. I didn't like it. But being mindful, I see that there aren’t concrete walls between the two. It’s an easy awareness. I command my mind to pay attention. We all have to do it, participate in the mainstream world and get caught up. But we can switch back.

  • We can start our day over again. Can switch back. It’s like changing the station.

  • The 24-hour day is marvelous. I have the potential to change things today, through heart and mind. No inevitability to anything.

  • Like shifting gears. Shifting into neutral is a wonderful place to be

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