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Mindfulness in our lives.

February 9, 2015

mirrorBefore I was married, I could tell if I was too busy by the condition of my plants.  The plants would look wilted and in need of attention as well as water.  When I was married and had children, I could see in the reactions of my children and husband’s lives when things were too chaotic or in need of attention.  There are no good places for plants where we live now.  I can’t use them for an indicator of how I am doing.  Our children are grown. That indicator too doesn’t work the same any more.   I can still tell through my husbands reactions but in the past few years I have learned of other ways to be mindful of how I am and my life is from the inside rather than use outside indicators.

One of the that happened in my life was that I had paralyzed vocal chords.  I got my speaking voice back and now am working on singing.  I thought it was just laryngitis but it turned out to be more severe.  I am learning still how to be aware of my body and how to keep it healthy.

This image was a gift that I received in 2013.  I have always loved images – in drawing them, painting them or doing printing of photos (black and white) or receiving them on file or digital files.  I had started on the faith journey using the camera through Soul Feast – by United Methodist Upper Room and Val Isenhower’s class and book “Meditation on both side of the camera”.  The camera became another tool that a bridge to see God’s presence in my life.  The camera was a way to listen and receive as well as give to others.

The day I received this image, I was going to meet with someone and decided to bring along my camera.  I got excited about some of the things that I could receive through the camera in this restaurant.  It was only after I started gathering images that I realized I hadn’t taken the camera out of the bag for some time.  Through things at work and physical problems I had been shutting down my receptors and receivers of “seeing and receiving” images.  I wasn’t mindful of my inside or outside but was just trying to “guts” it through.  That is not a healthy or mindful process.

I realized I didn’t need to wait for just the right moment to be inspired.  I could create the right moments through centering prayer and the process we had learned through “Meditations on both sides of the camera”.  I didn’t need to be in the desert spiritually or emotionally or physically.  I began to recognize that when I didn’t reach for my camera for a few days I needed more time to be mindful of what was going on in my life and how I was handling things.

Retirement isn’t without stress and anxiety but it is different and it hits y0u in different ways.  One thing is that you are nearing more of the ending of a journey rather than beginning.  The body doesn’t always work the way you want it to and it might not get better. You don’t have the energy or endurance you once had.   Your worries are different.  Mindfulness for me is being aware of the worries before they take over my creativity, my relationships and life’s living.

When I see this image, it makes me realize that I can make choices to smile, to live, to love and to let go of things that will drag me down.  I have the process of centering prayer.  I have the process I can do with my camera.  I have also tried Zentangles and other things to slow down my worries and then to do something about it.   I can find and keep my balance before I realize I have lost it.  I need to be aware of who I am and where I am and how the people I love and the world is effecting me.  I can talk, share, capture images and take time to stay in balance.  I am grateful for the people around me and friends that help me learn even now on the journey of life so that it is full and wonderful with God’s presence, grace, mercy and love.

  1. Maybe you should invest in some plant growing lights. there is not much sun here either, and this is what I have done to help supplement for the plants. They are actually just the cheap $10 shop lights with ‘aquarium’ bulbs. Aquarium bulbs makes it so the lights do not get too hot for the plants. Everything is flourishing again. God bless


  2. We have 1 plant alive downstairs and an orchid upstairs but will keep lights in mind. Thanks


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