Mindfulness Challenge Week 2: Gratitude

morning-view-w

Coming Home

There are so many things I am grateful for:  being surrounded by family and friends; having finally settled into a job that I love; a yoga practice that enriches and strengthens me; books that let me slip away; and little things like coffee and chocolate…  But when I started thinking about what I would photograph to show gratitude this week, what I realized is that right now, I am most grateful for being home again.

This is the early morning sunrise through my back window.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 1: Focus

sewing-web

In Stitches

I had no idea how I was going to start.

I’d created this list of themes to help me be more mindful in 2017.  Deliberately abstract, I’d begun to wonder if I’d be able to even come up with a subject for my first photo:  Focus.

It had been on my mind for a few days.

Then, yesterday while shortening curtains for my newly painted master bath, I was focused on stitching a straight seam.  I guided the fabric, and I was literally focused on the moment: listening to the whirr of the machine, watching the tiny stitches draw a row of tiny dashes along the edge.

It occurred to me that this would be a perfect photo the first week of my mindfulness challenge.  It is focus in the moment, focus in photography.

This, then, begins 52 weeks of #createmindfulness2017.

10 Ways My Children Help me to be in the Moment

10 Ways My Children Help me to be in the Moment

1. The moments my son and daughter were born. I didn’t know what it meant to be in the moment until then.
2. Giggles. No matter what I am doing, hearing giggling children makes me smile.
3. Hugs. Those little arms around you, the smell of their hair, that no-greater-love-on-earth feeling. How could I think of anything else when hugging my child?
4. Checking on them while they sleep. The day’s stresses simply vanish when I watch them in dreamland.
5. Tantrums. There is nothing like a wailing child to make you forget everything else!
6. Dancing. If you can call it dance. More like jumping around the room and flinging my arms in the air with my kids. But the music is on and the moment is carefree.
7. Reading books together.
8. Imaginative play. I never tire of listening to their creative dialogue and make-believe lands.
9. Playgrounds. Swinging is just plain fun.
10. Goodnight kisses.

Painting Fences

Painted

It’s messy, time-consuming, and hard on the back, knees, and wrist, but I love to paint.

I’ve been working on staining all the decking, pergolas, and screen house in our yard this summer. Seeing the progress makes it such a satisfying job. Not to mention anticipating how great everything will look when I’m done.

Best of all, though, is the quiet time to think. I’ve always loved solitary work. Not that I don’t also enjoy being around other people, but it really doesn’t bother me to be alone. Painting is something I can do that gives me focus and puts me in the moment.

Do you have an activity that helps you be in the moment?