Thursday, January 17, 2013

This year's mindfulness reminder

Last year, I received the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin for Christmas. It was a surprisingly helpful book. I gained a few insights that were useful for being happier. Rubin has a list of things that she wants to be more mindful of, including "let it be". It sounded like a shorter version of the Serenity Prayer, which I can never remember in the right order. "Let it be" was my mindfulness mantra for the year, and was helpful.
Around New Years, I had been in a bit of a cranky mood, and realized that whenever I had a negative thought, I felt even crankier. So, I decided to use the mantra of "be generous" for this year. It's a reminder to me that when I'm having critical thoughts about someone's behavior that I need to be more generous. For example, the car in back of me is driving too closely. I might like to slam on my brakes and give them a scare, but being generous would be thinking about the fact that they might be very nervous about being late for work, a doctors appointment, picking up a sick child from school - anything that might make someone feel a bit overwhelmed.
I also hope to be more generous to myself! When I'm working in the studio and things aren't going well, instead of thinking I'm a crappy artist and should give up and do something else, I'm going to remember that everyone feels this way during the process of creating, and that it's just part of the process. And probably eat some chocolate to make myself feel better too. Having a mindfulness mantra has been helpful for me, and I recommend it. Leave me a comment if you have had one too - whether it worked, or not!

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