Welcome April! April is the month when we begin to see signs of renewal and growth AND it’s my birthday month. Today’s Mindfulness Monday challenge involves making a list, sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Let’s get started.
Years ago, while sitting frustrated with the drama and cycles I saw revolving through and around my life, I realized that if I was going to see significant growth and change I needed to actively participate in making those changes. I’m not talking about the changes that come from finishing school or taking a new job or moving to a new town. Instead, I’m talking about the small everyday changes that make me who I am.
Make a List
Making a list of all the qualities I wanted to see in myself took a little time to complete. On the list were words like, honesty, compassion, loyalty, being a considerate listener, being more than just a consumer, a no drama zone type person, etc. Once my list was made I could see my work was cut out for me in a few areas.
I’d spent my life trying to be enough for other people, but I never considered who I wanted to be for myself.
Working on yourself, for yourself isn’t selfish, in fact doing so creates the most beautiful, satisfying and lasting ripple effect.Sam Jerry
One Thing at a Time
This is how my own personal mindfulness project started. I took my list and picked one item to work on. Focusing on one attribute at a time took the overwhelming feeling of having to change overnight out of the equation.
Example: being a good listener, specifically, not interrupting. First I’d simply be aware during the day how many times I interrupted a conversation with questions or my opinion. Turns out, a lot.
Next, if I caught myself interrupting, I immediately stopped and apologized to the person speaking and then closed my mouth and listened. Of course, at first, I only listened until it was my turn and then I gave my opinion, but eventually, I saw this as a form of imposter listening. I wasn’t really listening, I was waiting to talk.
We Didn’t Get Here Overnight, Be Patient
Change didn’t happen overnight but one day I noticed, not only was I not interrupting, but I was hearing more than words. By sincerely listening to the speaker’s words, their intentions and dreams and undertones became clear. Today, I am proud to say, I am a good listener.
Once I felt confident about an item on my list I moved on to the next item and so forth. Mindfulness Monday became an outlet for me to share with you how being mindful in one area of your life can have significant return of value for your life too.
This week, make a list of the type of person you want to be, that’s it, just the list. Take your time, it could take all week. Throw a notepad or post-its in the front seat of your car or use your “notes” app on your phone, but make a list.
Remember, being mindful doesn’t have to be complicated. Being aware means being present and when we are present, we show up ready to participate in our life.
Be you. Be beautiful. Be imperfect.