October 5, 2009

Thoughts on Mindful Living, Part 1. ~ via Rebecca Grazulis

The Simple Harmony.

When I thought about starting a blog, I wanted it to be inspirational. I considered words from the world’s best thinkers and had a good Rilke quote all ready to kick off my first entry.

But that isn’t me.

I can’t inspire myself to do my laundry on Sunday so that I won’t go through the week looking like an urchin (a word my mother likes to use to mean “not put together”). I imagine myself on Monday morning looking through my closet, pleased as punch to see all of my favorites lined up and ready to wear. Somehow, however, it doesn’t happen. A number of things throw me off-track, like a “Golden Girls” marathon or deciding that my lovely little jade plant needs to be re-potted, similar to the subsequent events of yesterday.

So I thought about what I do best, and one thing definitely tops the list. After being a pretty kick-ass recycler, I am also a world-class worrier. Sometime this past year it reached epic proportions, and I decided that it must stop.

How does one break the habit of being a stress junkie? Of worrying about what may happen next week, next month, next year? I don’t know, but I have some suspicions, one of which is that living more mindfully has a calming effect. When your mind and body starting acting as one, and when you are more conscious about your role on the planet, the little things that used to bug you begin to fall away. This is the concept I’m test- driving.

Evidence that I’m trying: yoga.

A few years ago I took a four week “yoga for beginners” class. Well, let me clarify that. I took two of the four weeks. At week three, I had lots of good reasons why I couldn’t attend class, including the lame (“I don’t have time.”) to the lamer (“I’m just not a yoga person.”) Indeed, while in class trying to find my center, I did a good deal of thinking about everything but yoga; my grocery list, the papers I had to grade (I used to be a high school English teacher), and even the guy who cut me off on my way to yoga class.

That was over three years ago. And three years can do a lot to a person. So, in my quest to let things go and live a more mindful life, I’ve begun doing yoga again. I’m not a great student of yoga. God knows I couldn’t honestly call myself a yogi. But I’m trying.

Are you stress junkie? A world class worrier? Would you like to join me as I attempt to live more mindfully, to re-train my brain to just let things go and be in the moment?

I’d love you to join me. If you need time to make a pro and con list, debate whether you should instead be devoting your time to saving the whales (which, I seriously promote you doing), or fret over your struggles with time-management, I understand.

In my quest to let go and live mindfully, I’ll be trying a number of things – like yoga – and considering a number of ideas. I’ll share my discoveries with you and tell you about a lot of people who I think are getting it right and some things that I think are worth a try. I’ll probably worry about what you’ll think of me as I inevitably stumble on my journey to a live a more centered life, but I’ll try to keep that to a minimum. I promise.

Albert Camus said,

“But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?”

That’s my goal. Harmony. And as it turns out, I apparently can’t resist including an inspirational quote.

Rebecca Grazulis is a Chicagoan, a vegetarian (yes, you can be both), a wanna-be yogi and a former high school English teacher in a period of career exploration. You can e-mail her at [email protected] or visit her website.

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