Reading, Teaching, Learning

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - MINDFULNESS

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
 
For the next couple of months, we are writing about each other's One Little Words.  Please join us!  If you have a One Little Word this year and would like to explore the spiritual aspect of it, let me know, and I will add you to the schedule!  Today's OLW is Violet Nesdoly word, MINDFULNESS. 
 
 
     This quote made me chuckle because of the parenthetical phrases.  Aren't they wonderful?!  I also love the first definition - that mindfulness is "being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different."  How often am I in that perfect state of mind?  Because that's perfect, isn't it?  Even when it's not perfect.  To be able to accept everything as is.  Right now.  And not wishing it were different.
 
     This is minor and maybe a little crazy, but that first definition makes me think of this particular habit I have - it used to be worse when I was younger.  I would be watching tv, having a conversation, or reading, etc., and I would notice things around the room that should be moved this way or that.  Maybe a wall-hanging was slightly crooked, or something looked out of place, a dirty glass needed to be put in the sink, or something should be moved over or rearranged, and I would have to get up and take care of it, or it would bother me.  That restlessness or obsessive tendency is petty and ridiculous.  It can  lead to bigger things - dissatisfaction, disappointment,  a critical spirit.  What if I looked at the world in a mindful way?  Being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different.  Leaving things as they are and being satisfied.
 
     The other important piece of that definition is the awareness.  How often am I aware of what is happening at any moment with full attention?  I can be a technology junkie.  My phone is always with me, and I check it frequently.  If the battery dies, or I leave it at home by accident, I'm anxious.  Being connected with social media, email, blogging, and texting can be dizzying.  I love that it can help me connect with family, friends, and colleagues, but it can definitely challenge mindfulness.  How can I be aware of what is happening right now when a hundred things might be happening right now?  I need to unplug more often in order to be more mindful of others, my surroundings, and my circumstances.  That is so challenging in this era of information overload!
 
    Of course, this brings me to the spiritual aspect of mindfulness.  Of being mindful of God.  What am I doing to keep my awareness of Him?  The things of this world are constantly pulling my mind away from God.  Then there's this...God is mindful of US.  Isn't that amazing?!

Psalm 8: 1-4

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
 
Our God is mindful of US.  Is it possible that he is not only aware of us, but he loves us as we are?  Not wishing we were different?  If He can know us completely and still be satisfied with us, then we can be aware and satisfied with ourselves and others.  Of course, that doesn't mean we can't grow and learn, but we don't need to obsess over the little things.  The petty things.  God, who made the heavens, moon, and stars, made us.  And He is mindful of us. 
 
 
January 14: Carol Varsalona - BELIEVE
January 21:  Margaret Simon - PRESENT
January 28:  Michelle Haseltine - SELAH
February 4:  Justin Stygles - (Blind) FAITH
February 11: Leigh Ann Eck - INTENT
February 18:  Irene Latham - DELIGHT
February 25:  Violet Nesdoly - MINDFULNESS
March 3:  Julieanne Harmatz - ADMIRE
March 10:  Holly Mueller - WAIT
March 17:  Linda Kulp - SIMPLIFY
March 24: Doraine Bennett - SHINE
March 31: Donna Smith - BOLD
 

16 comments:

  1. Living with pain these last 6 weeks, I have had a difficult time with mindfulness, not wanting to change the moment. Patience has been hard. I am angry. I am intolerant. When we go through trials, mindfulness becomes more important. Thanks for your post today. I need to stop wishing things were different and realize my body is healing. There is purpose to everything we go through. I will find God's purpose if I sit still and be mindful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry you're still dealing with pain. It's so hard to find peace through chronic pain. Prayers to you!!

      Delete
    2. So sorry to hear this, Margaret. Pain has to be one of the most challenging human experiences. The feelings you have in this season of it strike a chord with me. I will be praying.

      Delete
  2. Accepting things as they are requires honesty, and there is hope and comfort in knowing that things are constantly changing. Spirituality IS change. Thanks for your thoughts, Holly!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Holly, writing about mindfulness has opened my eyes to who I am and what I do. Holding on to the moment has been encouraged through yoga. I am feeling so much better since I went back to the practice. My long hiatus with the shoulder injury kept me away from the serenity of the studio where immersion in the moment is so important. I have a long way to go with being mindful about my behaviors and interactions but with intent I shall do so because as you said the Lord is mindful of us. I need to be mindful in return.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Holly... it will be interesting to see what everyone has to say about this word. I know my understanding of it will be stretched. I like how you draw attention to how mindfulness includes contentment in the moment. What I took (in the definition of mindfulness) to be more of a passive acceptance, you've cast in the light of contentment. I'm going to add that to the mindfulness qualities I'm cultivating. And I love too how you draw attention to God's mindfulness of us. That is a thought to be treasured always.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for launching another SJT conversation, offering us so many amazing ways to think about the OLW of the week. Of all the Scriptures that came to mind for me this week, Psalm 8 didn't; I'm so grateful to you for including it in your reflections. How consoling and motivation to realize God is mindful of us, individually! God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love your concluding words: God made us and He is mindful of us. Thanks for a lovely post

    ReplyDelete
  7. I so agree.I also quoted Psalm 8: 3-4 in wonderment and amazement. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, I can relate to noticing little things that are out of order instead of being mindful of what's happening around me. I'm working to overcome the need for perfection, and trying to accept that things are always changing (which is hard for me). Thanks for a great post!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This topic has been bouncing around in my head for awhile. Thank you for the opportunity to write about it. I love this line from your post, "God is mindful of US"! YES!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Holly, the link for my post is not correct. It links back to yours. Can you please delete the original? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see that I could add the correct link. Mine is now at #8.

      Delete
  11. For some crazy reason, I could not link up correctly so I erased two tries and added the correct link. Thanks for your patience everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is awe inspiring to think about God being mindful of us. Yes, I can stay with that for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderfully thoughtful post. I'm sorry, but this week has been full of unexpecteds that I needed to be perhaps mindful of - so I just couldn't get to this word. My first thought when I wanted to write, was exactly your point - God is so mindful of us. And for that I am thankful.

    ReplyDelete