A Day of Polar Opposites

One goal I have this year is to become more mindful. Now you may ask “What exactly does that mean, Paul?” Well, that’s a good question. Currently for me,  being mindful is an attempt to “quiet” all of the noise filling my head. An example might be helpful:

Most weekdays, I travel 24 miles from my home to my place of work. During this time,  Normally I do one of two things: (1) Talk with my parents by phone; and (2) Mentally prepare myself for work day. Oh yeah I do actually watch the road while driving as well:)

At least part of mindfulness for me involves quieting the enormous amount of thoughts that  crowd my mind during those 25-30 minutes while I’m in my car alone. Thoughts like “What lecture am I giving today,” “How many students am I meeting with this morning?,” “I need to finish that article draft by this Friday,” “Where am I eating tonight,” and/or “Man, how bad are the Dallas Cowboys this year!”

To me, being mindful assists me in quieting all that stuff and enables me to merely enjoy the drive into campus. Focusing on all the above noise tends to fill my brain with all sorts of emotions (stress, frustration, anger at the cowboys, etc.). At this point, that’s my definition of mindfulness.

I rec’d a android app last week from a friend (Thanks Cassie) called “Stop, Breathe and Think.” Briefly it contains short audio meditations that help center one’s focus on things like gratitude, joy, contentment, etc. Yesterday I spent 14 minutes in meditation and this morning 22. I love the way I feel after meditating (refreshed, content, etc.).

BUT….that was only the beginning (7am) of my day…from…hell.

The rest of the morning and early afternoon was one of the most frustrating I’ve had this year. I’m not going to rehash the scenario, as that would only result in my reliving all the anger and frustration.

The reason I bring this up is that I am now home reflecting on two things: (1) How unbelievable it is that I could feel so much peace and contentment AND utter frustration and anger within a 7-hour period; and (2) How MUCH I have to learn about mindfulness…cause folks, I failed miserably today.

Sleep well. I know I will:)

One response to “A Day of Polar Opposites”

  1. Pat VerDuin says:

    Paul, my friend you caught my eye on the topic of mindfulness…I too am on this “journey” ah it’s a journey one that involves a new way of being not behaving. So everyday you get a “do over”. Surrendering is essential it allows for unbelievable outcomes but first there is the surrendering and looking at each moment as an opportunity to learn. Ok I am still a novice I lost my glasses they were expensive I am trying to surrender but really how is this an opportunity, I’ll have to let you know later how this one turns out. Every day is a mystery I am looking forward to what tomorrow brings, peace and blessings my firend.

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