Mindfulness – it’s the quality or state of being aware or conscious. To me, it’s being here, present, grateful and aware. My word of the year for 2017 is mindfulness, because I think that personally everyone in my family can work towards being present, when together or even when on their own. Being open and mindful of all our blessings daily as they happen is a gift.
Every year I try to come up with a word that will guide my personal and professional life. It’s not a resolution exactly, but a mantra or philosophy. It helps me to move forward and be mindful of the goals I have set. And every year I struggle to come up with a word that sums up my hopes and my philosophy.
Last year my word was travel and I wrote about how that went last week. In 2015 my word of the year was celebrate and then in 2014, my word was growth. Health was the first word I chose in 2013 and as a health, travel and technology blogger I committed to striving for better health. That one was challenging. You can strive for better health but you can’t always make it happen.
This past week I said no professionally to half a dozen offers that were terrible for me. NO was looking like it would be my word of the year. In fact, I noted the same thing last year at this time. But no is too negative as a mantra. I know mindfulness is super trendy right now. But I wasn’t really ready to commit to mindfulness in daily living in 2016. This year I am.
So how does that work? Well, for me, this year I promise to take a few moments every day to stop, inhale, pause and change my thinking so that I am mindful. I will change my inner dialogue daily. Yesterday I started. Despite feeling awful and run down with some miserable cold or flu bug here, I stopped and practiced mindfulness. Quite simply, I told myself: I am here right now, alive. My family loves and supports me. I have a wonderful husband and I love what I do, and I am soaking in a warm bathtub in my house.
My line of thinking then led to gratitude for all that we have. Mindful that many do not have what we do. Mindful also of feeling relaxed and loved and warm, soaking in a tub trying to help my body feel better. Aware of the feelings at that time, warm, loved, calm, relaxed, happy. Gratitude, awareness and appreciation all flowed out of mindfulness.
So this year, when I travel I will stop and periodically tune everything else out to remind myself: I am here, in this place for the first time, maybe the only time. Then I will pause and feel whatever it is that I am feeling. I will stop taking photos and observe and feel. Maybe that means the memories will remain etched on my brain longer.
And throughout the year whether I am swimming in the backyard, or writing a post, or watching my child grade at martial arts or perform in a play, I will be mindful. Take it all in. Life is short. It is also a gift. Sometimes it’s hard to stop and set the phone or camera down and just BE there.
Over the course of a lifetime there are many things you will recall, and many more that will be forgotten. Those moments when I stopped and took stock and inhaled he beauty of being where I was at that time are solidly etched on my brain and my heart forever.
Mindfulness and OMG Moments:
As a child playing on the playground after school in the spring. Feeling independent. That’s the first time I remember feeling mindfulness. This past year I was mindful on most of my trips. Those OMG moments at the top of a mountain in Tremblant. With my husband at Smugglers’ Notch, skiing together. On a boat with Payton as we set sail. Disney on Ice with both my kids.
Mindfulness is an act of awareness. I hope to use it well in 2017. My kids, I hope, will join me. Together we will influence dad to try mindfulness too.
Do you have a word of the year?