“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha
“What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favourite day,” said Pooh. – AA Milne.
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz
Throw those curtains wide, sang Guy Garvey, one day like this a year would see me right. Well, I’d quite like a day like this every day. Is today that good? As Pooh said, today is my favourite day.
Hello again. A few days break from the corporate world and the words are flowing. The Dark Side Of The Moonie blog reaction was rather overwhelming. It was based on a subject that has caused me some concern for a while and I’m glad I managed to get the blog completed. Thank you for your support. Anyway, that was then and this is now. It’s all a matter of ABC (an 80s song reference).
What’s so good about today? Well, it’s good because it’s Something Just Like This (a recent blog reference).
Okay, let’s crack on with the blog. Thanks for joining me on this latest View From The Ground. I thought I might be distracted as serious words have started on a Book 2. Book 2? What about Book 1? Was that These Wings Can Fly? Noooooo! As the the main author found her crow like wings and flew off in search of the Fifth Dimension (not a boy band reference), that book is confined to history as one of the greatest books of fiction ever written (apart from my bit). If you want a copy, let me know. Any money raised through the sale of the books will be donated to an appropriate charity.
I have several boxes of the book to off-load as the flown crow left them behind in her haste to convert to Archangel status before becoming an end of year celebrity by featuring on the police missing list. If you see her, perhaps mention the books might be useful in the coming colder weather to light the cult (duly spellchecked) camp fires. At the same time, let her know Ben and Liv say ‘hi’. They’re her son and daughter. I think she’s forgotten. She’ll be with a rather tall and glum looking fella. I won’t speak on behalf of his wonderful family. I’m proud to know his wife and sons and her friends. Truly awesome people.
And, before anyone says ‘ooo, that all sounds a bit harsh’, don’t worry, it’s my bizarre sense of humour. I’m just throwing back the curtains and embracing another awesome day in the world of #TeamDuke. I’m in the middle of a 2 week break from work and am loving every day of it. Lots of time with Ben, Liv and Audrey. Lots of walking the dogs. Lots of laughs. Lots of hugs. Lots of living in the moment. Bliss! And, that’s just it, as Buddha said, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
My above words are not dwelling in the past. I have learned to flip the past anger into present humour. And that brings me back to Book 2 – now provisionally titled ‘And so, the door closed. Archangel De-light’. It’s a fictional work, and I’m having fun writing it. Let’s just say, it’s a great release for my unique look on life.
Book 1? That’s going to be a rewrite of the #TeamDuke blogs, in the hope of providing hope, humour, and humility. Title – You Can Call Me Dummy. Maybe? Work that one out. I guess I have circa 50,000 words to work on so watch this space. I just need to become more mindful rather than having a mind full.
Which, miraculously brings me on to topic for this latest blog (spell check just suggested lasagna, which reminds me I need some bread).
Mindfulness – ‘the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. The term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali term sati, which is a significant element of Buddhist traditions. In Buddhist teachings, mindfulness is utilised to develop self-knowledge and wisdom that gradually lead to what is described as enlightenment or the complete freedom from suffering.’
Okay, that’s the intelligent description of mindfulness. However, the key bit for me is ‘bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.’
And it’s the focussing on the present moment that is helping to project #TeamDuke forwards.
I guess a lot of the latter half of 2016 was spent dwelling on the past, almost trying to reach backwards and pull forwards all of the good memories in the hope that they could return. Does that make sense?
However, events had occurred which meant closing that book, and allowing a new book to start writing itself.
In reality, and this is where mindfulness has really helped, I am now understanding the need to just focus on today and by doing that, it can truly be my favourite day. Think about it. Try waking up and just focussing on that exact moment. The first positive is – you woke up!
As those who have read previous blogs will know, we now have a dog – Ringo. He was poorly recently, so I let him sleep with me. He’s well again but, he still sleeps with me. However, he is great for practicing mindfulness because the minute he sees I’m awake, he wants a hug, to be stroked, and to be loved. That’s it. No worries about work, money, news, traffic etc. His only thought is that present moment. Bang! Mindfulness captured on 4 legs.
I’ve already written about my walks with Ringo but, again, it’s mindfulness personified – walk, breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds, look at the greenery and flowers, enjoy the exercise. Bang! Mindfulness on the end of an extendable lead.
Mindfulness is a daily challenge, so I’m not saying it’s easy. Of course my mind / our minds drift backwards but I that’s becoming more manageable. Of course, the wee Scottish person in my life, Audrey, helps more that she realises. Audrey is a gem beyond words. As I’ve told her, she captures unconditional love in action without trying. She’s there for me, and for Ben and Liv. That’s whilst been an awesome mum to Eilidh and Liam. A true blessing that we are together to enjoy today. Tomorrow? When today is my / our favourite day I / we don’t need to think about tomorrow.
So, there you have in. Always being mindful isn’t a sin. Quite the opposite, it’s the thing!
Let’s follow Pooh and Piglet and make sure we make today our favourite day. Live, laugh, love. Breathe in the joy, look at the beauty, and listen to the magic. It’s the only way.
Throw those curtains wide, today being my favourite day will see me right.