Slow down, you're moving too fast

I first became mindful of the word mindful when, as a student working in a psyche ward, I was assigned to lead a group on mindfulness. I was given a curriculum of sorts; activities to follow, discussions to generate. I came armed with props. A smooth rock, a feather, objects to engage the senses and ground my group in the here and now.

We sat in the poorly lit room, a circle of couches and chairs. I brought out my mindfulness notes and my props and tried not to laugh. I felt ridiculous offering my rock to chronic sadness, despair and voices in heads. We talked about mindfulness as a coping skill, the need to focus on the present. Some people didn't say a word. Which wasn't unusual.

It may not cure schizophrenia but I really do think it's an important component of mental health. It means being aware in the present. Noticing the little things. Observing each moment. Enjoying the process. The words to a song I heard many times growing up, "I need to be still and let God love me." All of which go against my nature.

I once had a supervisor tell me that I held my breath when I was nervous, which around him was most of the time. I do not enjoy being anxious and uptight. Maybe that's why mindfulness, as cheesy as it sounds, appeals to me.

I chose mindful from the list as my word for February's One Word Project. (Thanks for the inspiration, LizW) I think the act of photography is an exercise in mindfulness all by itself.

And who tends to focus on the present more than a child?


the Joneses said...

I like this post. And the picture made me smile. Young children, especially, exist only in the present!

-- SJ

lizw said...

I'm so glad you decided to join in on the fun! Great word, great images and great post.

lis said...

I loved this post, Liane!

Anonymous said...

Two of my friends are lucky enough to be the grammies of this little red toddler. What a cutie.

Anonymous said...

How Choral and Pat must enjoy being a grammy to this little red toddler. He's a doll.