Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mindful Minute & Prayerful Pause - Shaping My 2016

Last year I worked diligently to become the best me I could be and the best we within family and personal/professional connections.

I diligently (but not manically) pursued a series of questions most evenings to focus my attention. (Last year's blog entry.)

It was a great year for thinking - even while January to June was the worst single six-month period of my life. The next months, June through November were as bad as only a few other periods in my life. I am so very, very thankful for a loving spouse who I connect with and a few important friends to serve as mentors, guides, and wise-counsel to me in the year.

That being said, I'm shifting up my focus in this new year, and I like it so far!

Instead of thinking hard about many questions at the end of the day, I'm starting my day with a single minute(!) to be mindful and focused, to be grateful and to be calm.

Next to my vehicle and office keys, I've got a simple Kitchen timer.  Before I pick up my keys to walk out the door, I set the timer for 2 minutes and use the first few seconds to sit and relax.

And then, for 60 seconds I pause to be thankful for who I am and who I'm with and where I am and what is going on in my life and what good new things will emerge, even as I can not stop the bad!

It's liberating for the 60 seconds and I've found that I carry it with me in many moments throughout the day.

As I'm driving, I remember to be mindful for a minute, prayerful in an intentional pause and I celebrate that moment.

As I'm walking or biking, I do the same  . . . and you get the idea!

The inspiration for this is rooted in lots of psychology/meditation/spiritual practice, though it comes in my life in three primary ways.

(1) I wanted to start my days with reflection and not simply end my day with reflection!
(2) I wanted something really simple.  A simple mindful minute and prayerful pause.
(3) In this simple practice, I am reminded of Providence & Mystery, Thankfulness, Hallowing the Day.

Of course, ancient spiritual practices couple with this very simple idea - in many traditions, though in my life the main impetus for this idea is rooted in the work of Matt Killingsworth, Ph.D.
Ideas to spur the notion come from these great TED Radio Hour Podcasts, too.

TED Radio Hour: Simply Happy
TED Radio Hour: Quiet
TED Radio Hour: Headspace

And, I'm apparently not the first to think of the idea of a Mindful Minute(s) - here's a website I just found . . . though I'm going to keep it simple.

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