We met this week to talk about all our failed New Years resolutions. Personally I never make resolutions because I can never stick to them, and it seemed that although there were some half-hearted attempts at sticking to some NYRs, the group was more concerned with really trying to prioritise what’s really important in our daily lives.
One of the ladies in the group has recently been on a mindfulness course in Cambridge Uk and shared some really useful bits that she’d learnt from it. On the course they encouraged the participants to meditate for 40 minutes everyday and although this wasn’t always possible it was a useful habit to get into. One of the problems people always have with meditation, is being able to concentrate when uninvited thoughts pop into their brains. The leader of the course suggested imagining a beautiful blue sky, then imagining some little white clouds appearing and pinning unwanted thoughts to the clouds before seeing them being blown away. The idea is that the person meditating acknowledes the thought and it’s importance, but puts it aside so that they can stay focused.
We also watched a Nooma video about silence and how uncomfortable it is. We are constantly surrounded by noise and action, so when we’re confronted with silence we start to feel uneasy and even anxious. With technology being such a huge part of our lives these days, we’re constantly connected, constantly updated, constantly informed and informing. There’s very little room for “headspace”, very little time to be able to think or ruminate as everything needs to be done instantly. We thought about how in the “olden days”, when people had to farm their own land and labour was mostly manual, that people had a natural opportunity to think about things and “hear” from God. Today, there are so many things vying for our attention that we rarely really listen wholeheartedly to anything.
Rachel then showed us a clip from YouTube (to follow!) of someone filling a pot with both small and large stones. If you put the small stones in first then the larger stones can’t fit into the jar, if you put the large stones into the jar first then all the smaller stones will fit around the larger stones. It’s basically making the point that if we think about what our large stones are, I.e. family, friends etc and prioritise those first then everything else can fit around them.
In the group, I mentioned how I write a blog about my experiences as a mum and sometimes get so engrossed in it that I completely ignore my children. “I can’t play with you now, I’m writing about how much fun we’re having!” It’s easy to get distracted and I think it’s the distraction we have to be careful of. We can so easily waste precious time, mucking about with stuff and fluff, when our treasure, our gold is laying abandoned.
So what to do? Again, we thought about mindfulness and being aware of the right now and giving ourselves over to it completely. It may be a tall order in the world we live in today but it is possible. So start pinning your distractions to the clouds and enjoy the beautiful blue sky!