Losing my Mind(fulness)

Mindfulness is a practice. If you live purposefully day to day, it becomes easier. Habits start to form, and there is less struggle in accessing mindful living.

The same is true for yoga. Because I now have a daily practice, it is rare for me to get exceptionally sore or tired from asanas. My body knows what to do and finds a comfortable place. At the very least, my body knows where to TRY to go.

Over the last eight weeks, after a confluence of stressful events both personal and professional, I found myself going back to some behaviors that are very typical of BYA (Before Yoga Abbie).

Somewhere, in the craziness of these two months, I lost my mind.

Well, my mindfulness.

I clung tightly to yoga, but I moved away from some of the other practices that have really lowered my stress level over the past three years, and have made me a calmer, less-anxious person. A few days ago, I decided that I needed to change - mindfulness had to be more of a priority for me if I was ever going to find a calm space. Yoga on its own was not going to change the trajectory.

The items below are some of the immediate things that I am going to try to incorporate into my life, in an effort to right the ship: 

I am going back to the meditation practices that have worked for me in the past. Only this time, Jon Kabat-Zinn did me a solid, and published a book that literally has his philosophy in bite-size chunks. I've been reading it every night:

JKZ - An amazing author on meditation. Available on amazon.com
This book comes with a CD of guided meditation as well. The only trade-off is that the cats are going to have to vacate their spot on my oft-forgotten meditation cushion.

I have also come to the conclusion that my relationship with electronics has got to change.

I am taking a break from Facebook. Between now and the first week of August, I will be on the road for almost three weeks - much of that time being spent at an off-site retreat in MA for my company. I want to arrive there with focus and with a calm, clear head. I want to do great work there and take it all in. So I'm changing my status for a few weeks, in the hope that it will free up some time for thinking, and focus, and blogging.

The Facebook Vacation cover photo
The web isn't the only electronic item that pulls me in.

Every morning, my blackberry alarm goes off. I hit the alarm, and then, bleary-eyed, at 5.30 - begin to read through my emails. As a West-coast employee of an East-coast company, the mornings are always a bit of playing catch-up. Starting my day with this type of email rundown - before even putting on glasses or brushing teeth - is only counter-productive to getting the day started off mindfully. By 5.31 (or 5.41 as my husband would say - you snooze at least once), I'm already stressed out about what my East-coast brethren have sent my way.

There is a simple answer to this issue. My blackberry is no longer my alarm clock. And yesterday, I meditated, had breakfast, and showered before I looked at my email. It's the path I'm hoping to stay on.

I'm taking it day by day. Unplugging, meditating, and mindfulness. Breathing.


One foot in front of the other. One calm thought in front of the next.