Tuesday, July 13, 2010

the mindfulness project

In church on Sunday Matt outed me (although I don't know that anyone noticed).  I am starting a mindfulness project.  I am horrible at being mindful.  Ask my kids how many times a week (OK, a day) I lose my keys.  Ask my husband how many cups of coffee I misplace.  Ask me where my head is at any given minute...and chances are I don't know. 
It drives me crazy.  There's a good chance it drives my kids crazy.  Matt is very kind, but deep down I know that some days he would like to strangle me with my key chain (metaphorically, of course).

I know everyone is doing a project.  There is Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project.  There is A. J. Jacob's The Guinea Pig Diaries and The Year of Living Biblically.  Then there is Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  And, of course, there's the book that started my project-reading craze, Julie and Julia.  Then there are zillions of little people like me starting their own little projects.

So, what I am saying is that the last thing this world needs is yet another year-long project.  And I am aware of the fact that I am perhaps a bit cliché for doing this.  But I'm doing this for me, and if my idea is tired and old and cliché, so be it.  I'm not even entirely convinced I'm going to blog about it.  This little project may best be kept under wraps and in between the pages of my journal.  I haven't decided yet.  But I have decided, at least, to introduce you to my project, and if you have any ideas or thoughts, please feel free to offer them. 

Here's the plan: I am going to take on a bit of mindfulness each month and then I am going to research it, live it, and write about it.  Here are my ideas so far (in no particular order):

Journaling (I do think this will be my first month's project.  I already journal, but I would like to be more consistent, and I think I might do better with mindfulness if I sort of reintroduced myself to myself.)
Eating (I would like to learn to savor my food rather than snarf it.)
Relationships (i.e., being totally present with the people I am with and not writing a blog entry while listening to Matt talk about his day.  Not that I am doing that this very second.  Nope.  Not me.)
Keys/Putting Things Away (this should gift me with at least 30 extra minutes a day).
Prayer (I am the queen of distractibility when I am trying to pray.  I can go from prayer to my to-do list in approximately 3.5 seconds.)
Yoga (Namaste.)
Meditation (Inhale...exhale...)
Nature (not sure what this one might involve--staring at trees?  studying flower petals?  spying on ants?)
Affirming thoughts (One day I listened to myself talk to myself, and I decided I wasn't a very good friend to myself.)

I realize that is only 9 months worth of being mindful.  That's where you come in!  Any other ideas?  In what other areas could I focus a month being mindful? 


  1. girlie, i pray for mindfulness with homeschool every day!

  2. Stopping by from the Homeschool Crew~ looking forward to checking through your blog!

  3. Hi Jill - you stopped by my blog and left a comment so I had to come check out your blog. I'm simply LOL LOL LOL from just the first 2 paragraphs of this post!!! (mainly because I can TOTALLY relate) I have to head out for ds13 baseball game but I will be back! Thanks for the chuckle so far...

  4. Hi Jill, Thank you for stopping by my blog. I love this idea. I have many of the same (can I call them distractions?) as you do. In fact I thought that I was the only one who prayed by backtracking to what I wanted to pray about.

    I will share with you that today while driving we passed a little turtle that was walking across the road. It was a busy road and I was sure that this little thing wouldn't make it. We stopped and picked him up and put him on the other side of the road in the direction he was going. Maybe you could use something along those lines in your Nature category? Just a thought.

    I can't wait to see your posts on Mindfulness.

  5. Hey I tried to follow you, but I couldn't. Let me know when I can follow.

  6. Cheryl, I'm not sure why you couldn't follow. I have no idea why that would happen. Would you mind trying again and then letting me know if it doesn't work?
    Thanks, everyone, for your comments! :)

  7. Here are a few ideas. I am trying to develop something similar for myself...just having the structure and the accountability will help, I think. I am trying to do a "Sermon Sunday" on my blog, where I post a new audio/video sermon and perhaps some support materials each Sunday. I am hoping to get others to discuss it over time.

    Also, I am going to work on reading more edifying books. I like to relax with not bad books, but not particularly edifying books, and I am working on reading more that will help me grow as an individual, to become more like Christ.

    Maybe helping others as a focus for a month? It would be good for the kids, too. Character development for a month? We do a character trait every month from the Character Traits chart (available on my homeschool-for-free sites Bible/Character links page). I am trying to build up the kids' good traits by more deliberately praising them.

    I like your idea. I will be looking to see how you are doing from time to time.



  8. Yeah!! I'm a follower of your blog!! Sorry Jill, it was probably just my computer or something!

  9. I may have to join you in your mindfulness journey! Three of the ones you have listed (eating, praying, and putting things away) are some of the very things I have the hardest time being mindful about. I really enjoyed your post and will see what other things I might be able to come up with.

  10. I have been trying to figure out what I will do for my 'project.' i like your list. On the prayer and listening to God... it is a long process to just letting those thoughts flow past. A Christian friend game me an idea which is yoga-ish but put something in your hand. then think of that thing..let the other things flow past... i did that for awhile then I was able to do my own 'listening.' I tend to be auditory so i will sit outside and listen to a bird... and concentrate on that letting the other thoughts go past. then gradually I get to even 1 min w/ trying to listen to God. It's a process...be kind to yourself :)