Five Days to Ponder

Let us live simply in the freshness of the present moment, in the clarity of pure awakened mind.
Matthieu Ricard

My mind is a constant storm of should be/should do/should think/should go. Sometimes that translates into action, sometimes not.

Often I impose structure by using this blog: for example, the year I wrote a poem each day from randomly drawn words; the year I used a family photograph each day to inspire me to record memories or events or observations about my relationships and life. This past year, I opted not to attempt a daily anything here, though I missed very few days of posting something, even if only a photo. Some months I participated in Photo A Day. Throughout the year I also featured books: favorite books, books authored by people I know, books that have meant something to me, books that I found fun, interesting, or insightful.

Also over the past year, I consciously cultivated an attitude of gratitude. For a while, I made daily entries in a gratitude journal (a real journal, not an online journal), and then I realized that I’d stopped because gratitude became ingrained in all my thinking–I no longer needed to write it to remember to feel it. I think that was, too, part of healing from the losses of 2012–and by that I don’t mean there is no more grief or sadness or yearning. Just that it is not as consuming. There is more breathing through it and accepting that it will ebb and flow.

Each year since I moved my blog here from LiveJournal, I’ve let the masthead reflect my purpose. A pile of Magnetic Poetry words. Old family photos scattered on the table. My take on My Ideal Bookshelf. For the past few days, I’ve been wondering what “theme” the new year will bring and how my masthead might show it.

The phrase that stays in my mind as I think about all this is “mindful living.” I keep stumbling over this concept with people I know or meet and with things I read or see. I’ve always believed a message or a lesson comes when you’re ready. But what makes this particularly challenging for me is that I feel it’s a journey I took in the latter half of the 1990s, and it led to a flowering of creativity. Then my energy and focus went in other directions. I don’t see that as bad or good, although certainly there will always be other people willing to tell me–to tell any of us!–You’re doing it wrong. (Tip: This is an ineffective way to motivate an Aries.)

I’m not sure what any of this means. The title of this post is my attempt to make myself feel that I have a deadline. To come up with a masthead. To come up with a purpose for keeping this little bit of the Internet alive. To come up with a plan to live mindfully. That seems a little silly and counter-intuitive: mindful living means being in the moment. Yet here I am trying to take on a whole new year. Maybe I won’t have a new masthead by January 1. Maybe no master plan will have unfurled in my mind.

And maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s enough just to be. And to know each day may bring a new way to be that I should welcome.

Photos: Sun catcher gift of David and Geri. Book gift of Brad. I’m grateful for both the gifts and the people.

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12 thoughts on “Five Days to Ponder”

  1. Well, you certainly inspired me to give the 365 thing a whirl this year, and I’m seeing the end goal and it’s a wonderful feeling.

    I haven’t decided what’s on bat for 2014, either.

  2. The author of a book (on leadership) I am currently reading encourages you to “embrace the importance of now and refuse to allow the lull of comfort, fear, familiarity, and ego to prevent you from taking action on your ambitions.” Eventually all of our tomorrows will be gone, it’s how we choose to spend our time today that is significant. You, my dear, do that with your blog. And, readers like myself look forward to it!

    1. Yet I do think there are ways to just be in every effort we undertake–including at our jobs. I spend a lot of ridiculous time worrying and anticipating–instead of being in the moment and doing what needs to be done.

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