Starting Over: My Mindful Year

Mindful Starting Over
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Rethinking, the Mindful Way

When I started this blog, I took a giant leap just to get it going. As someone who’s always had a narrow comfort zone, I knew I had to hit publish or the ideas would just languish in my head.

I’m not sure what I think of it so far.

I like the idea of helping people, the idea of succeeding with a creative outlet, yet…I don’t want to be just another jarring note in the internet noise. I want to provide content that means something, content I believe in.

Along those lines, I’ve been thinking about changes I’d like to make in the new year.

Mindful Resolutions

I love the idea of resolutions, but like most people, I usually fail at them. Therefore, this year, I decided to do something different.

This year, I will focus on mindfulness in general, working on small things I feel support mindful living — NOT a list of shoulds.

My resolution is simple:  be mindful, and see what follows.

So, I hope to journal some of this process, and let it serve as my content.  The scope, shape, and tone of this blog will change. That’s okay. I hope it gets honed to a finer point as I find what’s most meaningful to me.

My First Steps

Here’s what I’ve done so far to kick off my mindful year:

Daily one-line journal.
I’m consciously thinking about 4 life areas, logging a small detail about each area, every day. These areas might change through the year, but for now, these 4 work.

I’m getting so much joy and meaning from this small, consistent habit—so much so, in fact, that I’ll tell you all about it in an upcoming post.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training.
Meditation and mindfulness have made a huge difference in my mood and overall outlook on life.  I wanted to pass these advantages on to my clients and the public, but hadn’t really committed to doing so.

Then, like fate, an MBSR training notice popped into my email; it’s offered close to me, at a time that fits perfectly with my schedule. Taking this as a sign I’m on the right path, I signed up.  

This step is huge because a) it’s expensive and time-consuming, and b) it requires personal and professional vulnerability that’s far outside my comfort zone.  I’m doing it anyway.

After several failed attempts, I’m doing the 30 Day Minimalism Game in earnest.  I’m just calling it something different.

The term “minimalympics” started as a joke with my kids, who love teasing me for being “Minimalist Mom.” They’ve been giving me a hard time about the 30-day challenge, keeping me far away from their rooms when I’m looking for items to toss.

I teased them back, warning that this 30 day game will not be just a one-month event, but the start of something long-lasting.  Less like a single race, more like the Olympic training, I said.  As a joke, the term “minimalympics” was born.

We laughed about it, but after batting the term about for several days, I realized: I like turning the game into something bigger.  Think about it.  Olympians transform a single game into a whole life. Our silly nick-name might be light-hearted, but it reflects a serious commitment.  It means practicing a minimal lifestyle all the time, not merely enduring 30 clutter-chucking days.

As Leo Babauta pointed out recently, simplicity is a repeating process.  Our silly term is a fun reminder that the 30-day Minimalism Challenge is just one drill to build my muscle for the long game.

Moving Forward

I now have to fight through self-doubt and a nagging, nagging desire to remove early posts if they don’t seem to follow my current path. But for now, that’s what I’ll do — push through and leave everything out there, focusing now on building a collection of genuine posts that reflect where I am today.

We all grow and change.  There should be no shame in previous ignorance, as long as we continue to learn.

So, I guess that’s the most important thing I’m doing with my mindful year — living in this moment, letting the past live where it lives, and doing what I genuinely feel is right for me right now.  I hope you’ll find value in  my journey.