The art of being- I mean. Just being.
Being happy, being sad, being content, being grumpy, being hopeful, being grief stricken… all of it. Just being human. Keeping it all in balance and in perspective.
Ha. How vague and weird was that? Let’s start with something more tangible-ish.
I love art museums. I love standing in front of a piece of art and feeling something. I love walking around big rooms with art hanging on the walls and letting the pieces that don’t speak to me slip past my sight until I see one that makes me stop. Then just staring at it and letting it move me. Let it make me feel something. Awe. Disgust. Joy. Anger.
I love going to art museums and seeing what grabs his attention- a lot of the time what grabs him doesn’t grab me and vice versa. But we’ll stand next to each other and listen to each other struggle to explain what struck us about the piece we are looking at. Most of the time I feel gripped by the piece a little more just because my husband is as he explains why.
Have you ever experienced that?
I want to approach more in life like that… to slowly but surely pass the things that don’t move me and to dwell in the moments that move me. To be aware of enough of my loved ones to notice when they are gripped by a moment and to stop and dwell with them.
So… I removed facebook from my phone- cause I would just scroll through it mindlessly… just because. For no reason. It would annoy my hubby, and it would distract me from whatever we were doing… even if it was just watching tv together.
Now I’ll find myself picking up my phone and staring at it for a second and realizing that without Facebook there is nothing to mindlessly occupy my time with anymore. I can’t explain this- but now that I can’t mindlessly scroll through Facebook, I don’t feel so inclined to scroll through Pinterest or Instagram mindlessly anymore. After only a couple new pins and likes I feel bored with it and want to move on.
Plus- on the flip side I’ve carved out time for exercise and prayer in my day now- which has had incredibly encouraging results. Both are very good at making me focus more acutely on what I am doing- it’s hard to let my mind drift while I’m working out and it’s good practice to continuously refocusing my mind when my mind wanders during prayer.
I’ve had really amazing days.
Not only have I’ve been struggling less and less with shoulder and neck pain, I, of course, have also just felt stronger overall (pretty common side effect of working out I hear). I also have discovered these new stretches for my neck and shoulders that I use throughout my work day that have been successfully fending off my headaches (which were common place last year).
I still have bad days. I woke up cranky today because I didn’t sleep well. I ate a couple things I really shouldn’t have. I was overly sensitive around my hubby. You know- normally things that happen every once in a while. I really wanted nothing to do with practicing being and mindfulness.
It is a complex art… the art of being. Being mindful and aware and open and responsive and whole and balanced.
The unpleasant days make me feel unsuccessful. But just like the pieces of art that make me stop because of disgust or anger or anything unpleasant, the unpleasant days in life make me pause and reflect just the same way. It is so much easier to see that the unpleasant days are really just moments when you stop to reflect on them… then you can move on to the next moment and be fully in that moment.