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  • Writer's pictureColin Eveleigh

Don't Miss Anything!


We arrive early this evening and wait patiently for the clock to chime. It's gone seven now; a couple of minutes, no chime yet, so we start anyway. And as I speak, there’s the chime…. phew. You can always expect the unexpected!  Like opening a large package mindlessly with a screwdriver and suffering a consequent quite serious and unnecessary finger injury. Probably wouldn't have happened if the mind had been more focused on the present moment than on anticipating how difficult it will be to fit the curtain rail ~ it wasn't even out of the box yet! And then afterwards, the magic of watching, waiting and noticing how the wound gradually and steadily heals itself day by day, moment by moment over the next two weeks. Magic!

Another sharing of an injury…. when out enjoying a bike ride, slipping on gravel at the top of a hill. Falling. Hurting. Feeling sorry for yourself, coming home and "accepting defeat". Being cared for within the family and being so glad you came home. Realising mindfully, that we do have to be so careful of the risks we take. Especially when the bike you’ve had for a long time has a name on it saying, "Corona"!  Sharing. Happening across someone who is in the brazen full-daylight act of fly-tipping. Stopping to have a word. Being mindful to say the right thing and at the same time not wanting to escalate matters and cause big trouble. Still wanting to make a point mindfully about what is right or wrong. Trying to, and being amazed that apparently the other person doesn't see it as wrong at all! "It's only leaves, there's a huge tailback at the tip!" Reflecting on that singular take on things.

As we heard, too much socialising all in one go is tiring ~ especially when distancing. After a while it's hard to remain present. At the end of the day someone is bound to get short-shrift and we notice there's even a feeling of resentment that we're being imposed upon. What is really needed is some down time. We've gotten good at being alone and this feels like too much too soon. Need to adjust to this. "So much yak, yak, yak.... it was a funny day!"

Another sharing about this same thing, that it has been quite nice not to have to interact with people mindlessly over trivialities all the time. Nice to be mindful of one's own thoughts. It's been a relief. Time for reflection and personal decision making. More sharing. "Do birds do things for fun? In my garden, they pulled out my spring onions, and didn't eat them.... just pulled them out of the ground. I grew them from seeds!" Mindful of that. Taking the time to talk to a stranger and learning so much about their personal and long-standing passion for photographing butterflies. "He had come a long way and he was on my patch. I go there all the time and it didn't occur to me to look at the butterflies! When I'm retired and in my seventies I shall look at the butterflies!”  I’m thinking, why wait? And sometimes as we saw, batteries in computers run low….causing a bit of anxiety in the moment…. and yes, we can always plug them in if we need to. Sharing. Some disputes and issues when we're mindful can be seen as opportunities. The trees that need to be reduced in height to help the neighbour may give us a reason to have a good old clear out of other garden rubbish collected over the years. "I'm so grateful for mindfulness giving me this different perspective.”  Another fine mess the mind didn’t need to get us into. And now ~ it was noticed as the lockdown is eased ~ not only do we have to be careful, we also have to take more decisions, it's hard and we might prefer just to be told exactly what to do…. take the decisions out of our hands. Trouble is, we don't really know if the worst is behind us. "I thought I was getting more relaxed and optimistic. Not now we've been given more freedom! I'm under social pressure to get things right. It's a worrying narrative in my mind. I make a decision and then I'm told I'm being unfair!" Being mindful of that. Making decisions is hard, especially when the safety of loved ones is involved.

Also, this was shared. We like to do things to be helpful and please others, but what happens when we choose to do something that is not quite what they want or even asked for? Being mindful of that if you can and thinking of them. Listen, it's never too late. And finally we heard about a dog interrupting a meditation teacher online. Dogs are mindful of the moment rather than the teaching. Anything or anyone that blunders into our path of meditation or mindful awareness can be a call to the present moment. A blessing rather than an irritation or distraction. After we leave the sharings to go our separate ways ~ in the garden over a cool beer ~ I'm reflecting on this evening. At this moment, there is a seemingly endless and constantly changing stream of tiny bubbles rising randomly and unpredictably from the sides and bottom of the glass to the surface of this golden liquid. I breathe and track their movements as they arise and fade imperceptibly away....

See you next week! Don't miss anything!!

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