#beingthemoment – Week 5

Last week: Move your body

As I walked each day with my son this week, I tried to keep in mind the intent of my walk (being with my son and also enjoying the outdoors) and to think about the details around me (the feel of the path under my feet, the droplets of rain on my face, the sound of my son’s voice). I was also breathing and trying to notice how my body was feeling.

All we have is our bodies, right?  The experience of our bodies – whether we are cold or warm, whether we can breathe freely or with effort, whether we are experiencing pain or comfort – is a powerful influence on our lives. – More than we realize, at times.

#

Over the past four weeks I have been practicing one strategy at a time to help me become more mindful and to be in the moment.

  • Week 1 – Intent: What is your intent as you do a task?
  • Week 2 – Details: What are the little details of what’s around you?
  • Week 3 – Breathing:  Take 3 deep breaths when stressed.
  • Week 4 – Move your body:   Take a walk or stretch to take a break from feeling overwhelmed.

I am exploring six strategies from an article on mindfulness over a period of six weeks.  Each Sunday evening I have been posting an update on how that week went and a description of the next week’s strategy.  I picked the hashtag #beingthemoment as a reminder that I am striving to “be” the moment, moment to moment, and not rush through my life or be too distracted to enjoy the time I have.

Week 5: Claim white space

Claim white space — Before you start drowning in the activity of the holidays, create some air pockets for yourself with white-space time. White space is time blocked on your calendar with no preset agenda. It’s the time on your calendar where you get to choose what you do. Always start your white-space time with a few deep breaths to become present and then ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” Or “What am I inspired to do?” White space allows you time to give yourself what you need.  (A present you give yourself, and others:  being present during the holidaysThe Seattle Times)

Okay, confession time:  I don’t do very well at scheduling time for myself.  I suppose more often I squeeze in time for that little bit of writing, or a quick walk to the library to pick up books.  But I don’t generally linger at the library – or set aside time to hang out there.  My daughter said to me the other day, “Let’s go to the library and pretend it’s a bookstore, and browse!” and I thought, what a great idea.

But this week’s strategy reminds me that there are a couple of things I’ve wanted to do for a while and have yet to do them.  One is to go see the current art exhibit at a local art museum, the Henry Gallery at the campus of the University of Washington.  The other thing is to take the light rail train down to South Seattle and do a self-guided tour of the public art at each station.

This week I’ll try to put “white-space” time into the calendar for those things.  And I’d like to borrow Sara Yao’s questions, both about my own state of mindfulness, and about my writing:

  • What do I need right now?
  • What am I inspired to do?

How about you?  Do you use writing to be more mindful?  What do YOU need right now?  What are YOU inspired to do?

#beingthemoment

Aztec-patterned screen dedicated to El Centro de La Raza community organization, art at the Beacon Hill station for LINK light rail, photo by Theresa Barker

10 thoughts on “#beingthemoment – Week 5

  1. What an exciting adventure you’re going to have! I love this idea. I feel like I have plenty of time to myself, but when I really think about it, it’s not really just for me. I keep myself in earshot of everyone else just in case they need something – so I essentially go from being actively doing something for others be it work, cooking meals, attending to other chores or errands to being ‘on call’. I need to punch out of my routine and claim my white noise completely detached from everyone else. And most importantly – not feel guilty as though doing that is a bad thing. Thank you for sharing these exercises! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! I love this idea, Tami! It’s your mini-manifesto! I know what you mean about being “on call,” when it feels like you can be available while doing other things … and that is okay a lot of the time, so no guilt about that! yet if we can sometimes claim a time to do something just for our own “artist-self,” that’s going to bring more back to our own work afterward.
      And THANK YOU! for the lovely kudos about this project. It has been more valuable than I expected, myself! 🙂 Would love to hear about any “white space” you claimed this week! 🙂 (And I’ll report on mine!)

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    1. Oh! How lovely that you have your calendar organized! That is a great talent. I’ll be interested to hear what you might do for the white space idea!
      I always have this debate myself between the self that enjoys time alone writing and creating, and the self that thinks it might be a good idea to go out and experience something different. Maybe it’s an introvert thing, treasuring time spent at home in front of one’s desk vs. going out into the world to do something new!

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  2. I love her idea about browsing in the library. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to our local one. I’ve gotten so busy with other things I’d forgotten how much fun it is to pick up a book, smell the paper, feel the book’s pages under my fingers…I need to do that today.
    White spaces on the calendar for fun…sounds perfect to me.

    My in the moment experience this morning was with Macavity sitting in my lap, we were reading together and his paw was extended across my arm and he pushed slightly so I paused from reading to study him. His eyes focused on the page unaware that I was looking at him.. I couldn’t help but wonder what book he’s planning on writing in his next life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! Lyn, I love that little scene you just described. Macavity “reading” the book you were also reading. So fun! Your description is spot-on, too, his pushing his paw against your arm, his eyes on the page, you watching him study the page … my cat (Pickles) would be staring up into my eyes with a slightly adoring look. “Why aren’t you patting me?” 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing about your library visit. Post about it? Maybe I’ll do the same thing today. Why not? 🙂

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