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  • Writer's pictureColin Eveleigh

Everyday Mindfulness ~ The Webcam of Life

Sharing is sharing, right? It is when it's mindful. We shared and we listened mindfully…. quietly

Thoughts dominate, of course they do ~ it's how we make sense of our world and how the mind tries to take care of us. Often busy, frequently anxious, getting in the way of sleep and preventing the stitching up of those ravelled sleeves. So, early today when I wake up.... it's still dark. I walk the dog. As the dawn breaks, the light over the rolling hills is magical and I feel completely at peace. The surroundings expand as I drop away from the occasion. Sounds like a cliche, but this is a genuine mindful experience for me, balancing out many of the 'thinking' mental events I've shared before. I really felt and experienced the moments. I was there. There was a butterfly trapped in a roof-space fluttering soundlessly back and forth between skylights. It was beautiful and I wanted to rescue it. Even knocked away with a stick some cobwebs, only to realise mindfully this was destroying some other creature's right to life. Later, someone else shared that they had been trying to track down mice that had taken up residence in their house. Blocking up a hole in the wall to dissuade the envisaged army of mice. Like certain birds in the garden, "They are invading my space!" But hang on ~ mindfully ~ whose space is it anyway? Aren't we animals too, who also need space? They are as entitled as we are. Are we being disrespectful of nature?

To liberate or encapsulate? It's a conundrum.

We can learn so much from being mindful of wildlife (of which ~ lest we forget ~ we are an integral part). Watching gorillas in Kenya on a webcam in so called real-time; never done that before. They were just sitting there and staring! That's not right. Why aren't they busy doing something? It's irritating. We're always busy ~ they should be too. Now I'm obsessed with watching them. I'm learning so much about just being! And it's true, we are always busy trying and expecting to achieve things and doing so much for productivity. Let's learn to be as well as do.

Because it's all so tiring. And how wonderful when your boss actually is mindful and notices your tiredness and actively encourages you to take a couple of days off. Hey! That's not like her at all. You quickly book the best days for the weather and wouldn't you know it.... that goes and changes too ~ rainy days. Doh!!

Even the best planned and executed 'Smart' shopping can go wrong. Especially when you're not being mindful of the essential element ~ your phone ~ to self-checkout and pay with. Just as you congratulate yourself on such admirable efficiency and effectiveness (productivity) the battery dies and you have to start all over again. You get help and someone accidentally voids your transaction and you have to.... start all over again! So a big one-pick, scan and pack shop turns into a three-times as long mindful experience. Super! No really, the downs don't need to be downs if you're mindful. The joys of wildlife.

And we hope and pray for a few 'ups' to be mindful of at least some of the time. Like this weekend which was lovely because I was invited to share in a bubble. It was brilliant. I felt spoilt and there was no social distancing and we ate lots. This was the first meal I had not had alone in 12 weeks. It's a gift to be cooked for. Afterwards, it even inspired me to make a cake to experience with friends.... the joy! And there are always more 'downs' lurking round the corner. Losing my job ~ how bad is that? I realised just how much I derive from and depend on my job to give me access to other people and how important it is in giving me a sense of identity and completeness ~ I lost my joy! OK, so on the upside, I've had some lovely mindful moments with my children lately, but how can I move forward? I want to find some way to help other people but I can't see the way ahead. Lots to sit with mindfully.

And as well as our own, there's always the serious stuff we try but can't really help with or do much about for others. A close family member is dangerously 'at risk'' through illness and I can see clearly what needs to be done and the path that needs to be taken to ease the crisis and it makes me mad that they just won't see it that way. They seem to be burying their head in the sand. I take out my frustrations on someone equally close. It's very upsetting and I wake up mindfully to the fact that what I'm doing is not helping and that I'm liable to make things worse. I reach out and apologise. Such a mindful thing to do!

An apology is the reset that gives everyone an opportunity for relief.

There is as ever, some incredibly valuable and deep sharing tonight ~ some of it captured here. Plenty on which to reflect. Much respect and appreciation for your presence in person or spirit.

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