Saturday, March 19, 2011

Being "Mindful" ~ Translated

Despite my best efforts, I got that nasty virus that circulated late this winter, and my rebound was slow. I apologize to my faithful followers for my absence!

This week I was also blessed with a fifth granddaugher ~ all of them ages six and under!

While for all of us, our energies rally and wane in our efforts to live mindfully, they remind me that we are models for the generations that will follow us. Children are mindful ~ and they pay attention to what we do.

So how do we do that? And what does it mean to be "mindful"? The word must appear as "new age" jargon to much of our population who see themselves as separate from that realm.

But of course, we all share the same realm ~ no matter what our political or religious beliefs. So being mindful ~ translated ~ simply means paying attention to what we're doing right now, every moment.

Children get that ~ and they notice when adults in their lives are distracted because it siphons the energy they receive. Every mother knows that kids begin to act up as soon as she gets a phone call. It's because her attention has shifted. Kids can't articulate that, but they know it, and they behave accordingly.

Even in the worst of crises, most will say they experienced a "calm" as their total focus was on the situation at hand. In my humble opinion, a lot of our stress comes from lack of focus ~ when our minds race like a galloping herd of wild horses.

In that all-pervasive food arena that we live in every day, an unfocused, distracted mind drives us to find some calming effect from those foods and drinks that are the worst choices for our bodies. We're looking to self-medicate all that stress and agitation ~ but we pick the wrong prescription. The more stressed we are ~ or the less mindful ~ the more we eat.

No blame here. There's no place for it. It's how we're wired.

But when we make better food choices, it's going to affect everything else. We just have to slow down ~ maybe even stop ~ and pay attention.

The kids will notice!

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