Slow Living and Mindfulness in Everyday Life: A Busy Girl's Guide
I am so guilty of always thinking of the next thing. Of forgetting to celebrate little milestones because I'm concentrated on the next thing to check on my to-do list. Sometimes the days all melt into each other and I just realize— wow, a week has passed already?
Any Star Wars fan here? Below is one of my ultimate favorite lines from the first episode.
Qui-Gon: Don't center on your anxieties, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs.
Obi-Wan: But Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future.
Qui-Gon: But not at the expense of the moment.
I am a type 3 in the Enneagram. The Achiever. Think Oprah, Tony Robbins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Muhammed Ali (oh, Taytay Swift too!) So most of the time, I tend to find my fulfillment in doing and in being busy. Partner that up with running a business and building a brand in the digital and information era where new things are discovered and created every second, and you'll find a restless girl.
As much as I want to prepare sow seeds for tomorrow, I also acknowledge that all we really have is this moment so I resolved to change the attitude I face life with. From the hustle hard mentality, I now approach things gracefully and try to keep a soft disposition. There's no need to rush, I have my whole life ahead of me. Halfway through, and I remind myself of the word I chose to be the foundation of my year — Stride.
If you're a busy girl finding yourself drifting through life's motions, here's how you can incorporate mindfulness into your work and ultimately, into your everyday life.
Going Deeper, Not Wider
Whether it is in our relationships, our work, our possessions, this principle is applicable. Quality over quantity always. I resolved to be okay with spending more when it means what I am buying will last me for years, is made sustainably, and a classic that I can use whatever season I am in. When I make mindful purchases, it adds value to my life. My recent Atlas Supply Co. The Minimalist Bag in Penny is an example. I am in love with it! That's the same when I invest in the right people and when we consume the right information.
Stopping to celebrate, never rushing, Basking in the sun because it does more than we do
Work Allll the Senses
"Wherever you are, be all there." Lately, I have been catching myself repeating this quote again and again because I tend to forget and go astray. It is easier to remember being present when I put all my senses to work and keep my mind solely where my eyes are. For example, now I get to enjoy my tea. I actually see how beautiful the smoke is that emanates from it. When I'm not being mindful, I miss that because most of the time, it makes me forget about my tea and by the time I remember, it's already cold.
When someone's talking, listen intently and sincerely, not trying to come up with the next question to keep the conversation going. When we eat, we tend to prepare the next spoonful, but this time, try to relish every bite
A few months ago, I was working on a project in one of my favorite coffeeshops. The project had a very tight deadline (aka the next day) and I was basically a mess trying to finish and perfect it as much as I can. In the midst of panic attacks, I looked up from my laptop and saw a man working on his laptop too, I could tell he was stressed too, but so much different from how I was. Me— panicking in the midst of stress. And there he was, he closed his eyes for what seemed like an eternity as I watched him, he opened them again, smiled, and continued to work. That incident woke me up. Why was I putting all this stress on myself when in an instant, I could flip the switch and change the atmosphere and my attitude towards this project?
"Do everything more slowly, less hectically, and without pressure. [...] There must be a flow of easy power through every action and of course through the mind.. where all the muscles are flexible and operating in correlated power." — The Power of Positive Thinking, Relax for An Easy Power
Einstein Time vs. Newton Time
This is one of the concepts I have learned from the recent audiobook I finished — The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Einstein's view basically states that you don't HAVE time. You ARE time— so you can make of it as much as you want. A concept that's hard to grasp but once you get a hold of it, it changes your view forever. There's no rush, and you do everything gracefully, and you can be present because finally, you control time, instead of the other way around.
Pause that Audiobook
I am such a sucker for information. When I forget to bring a book, or I forget to download a podcast or my headphones wont work and I can't listen to my latest audiobook— I get so dramatic as if everything is crushing down. In a time where new information is being discovered and new content is made every second, the thought of time being wasted when I could be learning something pains me. But once I learned to put boundaries on it, when I press pause on the podcast, when I look up from my book while on transit, when I just organize my room to white noise, it's not as bad as I painted it in my head. I can hear God clearly, I can think, I can empty my mind and it makes space for when it's time to work again.
Im writing this in sitting on an old couch in a cabin overlooking the lake. The trees are swaying and every now and then I can't help but to look up from my computer and watch the ducks playing in the water. They dip their heads, swim up, dip their heads and swim up. It's the most fun watching little blobs of heads come up. I realized, "That.. is what they do alll morning.. Possibly all day. And they don't have the fear of missing out at all." I wanted that kind of peace and presentness.
And this is my new belief: I can have both — slow living & constantly creating. I can do that by being intentional about what I spend my time and energy on, by bringing awareness to everything, and being mindful of every moment.
Living a wholehearted life especially in this information age is going to come with challenges, but once we master it, there wouldn't be any desire to look back.
FOR INSPIRATION AND LOVELETTERS EVERY MONDAY MORNING,