February 2017 - Mindful Moments
Since Nov 18th 2016 we here in West Michigan have not had one complete full day of clear sunshine. In fact, it has been weeks since we have had any sunshine at all. The placement of our lovely fresh water ocean like lake takes the freezing air from Canada down across its “warm” 40 degree water and produces clouds that encapsulate us in a gray that becomes winter.
It is this gray that prompted me to sell everything I owned except 3 suitcases of clothes and a computer, and get on a plane for 13 hours to go live on a volcano island in the middle of a gigantic ocean without knowing one person or anything about that said island a few years back. Turns out I don’t like heat. Or islands. So back to the mitten I came!
I thought I was prepared for the gray. Oh, how short memories are!
West Michigan is, in fact, the cloudiness place on earth if you believe the Facebook meme many of my friends are passing around. I do believe them. Needless to say this cloudy weather can get tedious. It can get claustrophobic. It can feel as though hibernation is the only option.
But tonight as I went out to put out the trash in the 25 degree cold I saw what I thought was a star. (It was an airplane.;) It was just enough to make me stop for a moment and look around this white and grey landscape I call home. I decided to not let the grey stop me from doing what I loved. I decided to go for a walk.
The silence of the neighborhood with only one dog occasionally barking was eerily beautiful. Everyone tucked all cozy in their homes, the lights glowing out from the windows. I could hear the crunch of my feet on the icy walk where one neighbor had plowed a path all along the cul-de-sac. I walked in silent gratitude for his generosity.
I began to feel my feet hitting the ground as I lifted them out of the snow. Up and down they went, my muscles tightening and stretching in joy after sitting in the house so long all day working on a laptop. The air smelled like Christmas, clean and crisp and bright. I could feel the life coming back into me with each step I took. I knew the endorphins were kicking in my brain, the oxygen pumping in my blood. For a moment I understood the obsession with running that everyone else but me seems to have. But I did not run. No. I walked.
I walked and walked, my usual summer route, and then I walked some more. No one about. The silence calm and clear. I was me. I was here. And it was wonderful.
And in that moment there when I began to play, see the sparkles of the snow under the streetlight dance about, the flakes jumping when my feet hit them, I realized I was practicing mindfulness. I was like a child, just experiencing life.
I was not trying to fix. I was not wishing I was somewhere else. I was not longing for warmer weather. I was not inside hiding from it. I was just experiencing it.
It was fulfilling. It was thrilling. And it reminded me that this is what is really important in my life. There will always be more books to write, kits to create, projects to work on, people to see, and things to do. There will always be a crisis of one kind or another in the world, in the family, in life. But this? These moments? These moments give me life.
I will not vow to go and do it again tomorrow that would take away the precious of now. But I will tuck that memory away and remind myself as often as I can to make time for these tiny mindful moments, in whatever form they come, even if it’s in the middle of the gray and cold of winter.
May you find your mindful moment today and may it fill you up in ways words cannot describe.
All my love - Jeannine
*Yes. I am aware I used grey and gray for spelling the murky color between white and black, which is in fact also a feeling. I take poetic license to do both as I have lived in this color for much of my life and feel both deserve equal footing! ;)
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February 1th’s topic is: Kindness and HUGS!
With host: Jeannine Proulx
*The Hug Store
by Rick and Shana Morrison
The Hug Store is inspired by a true story of a 5 year old girl (Shana) who, when asked for a hug from her Grandfather, told her Grandfather that she was all out of hugs and had to go to the store to get more! It's a beautiful self discovery tale that illustrates how life's greatest gifts can never be bought, and are instead, always found deep within us.
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