Today, for me, it came from a blog post, penned by the gorgeous Silvia De Vries and published by the magnificent Pepi Valderrama on her blog. The article was entitled The Healing Rituals of Everyday Life.
Silvia suggested an exercise in mindfulness, by either writing down or photographing every day activities. The idea caught my attention as I've been endeavouring to be more present recently. Simply trying to pay attention to the here and now, rather than existing and missing the beauty of the moment, whilst letting my mind wander aimlessly to the past and future with it's endless to-do list
So, I took on the challenge.
I learned an awful lot about myself, my home, my family... Some wonderful things. Some that surprised me. And some, that unfortunately I'm not happy to learn! But now that I have, I can work on righting the wrongs, as I feel them to be.
Here is an account of my day in photographs.
So what did I learn?
- HOUSEHOLD: I have WAY TOO MUCH laundry! But I got on top of it simply because I was being mindful to document my progress throughout the day.
- HOUSEHOLD: Taking photographs of every day activities made me very aware of what I need to tidy up around my home! As I went to take pictures, I'd think to myself, "Ugh, don't want that in the background!" So now I have a mental list of to-do's to add to the already on paper list of to-do's.
- PHOTOGRAPHY: As a consequence of the above, I began working on camera angles that did not highlight what I prefer not to be seen... Call me sneaky - I don't mind! :-)
- SELF CARE: I forget to eat! And when I do remember to eat, I was so consumed by the process of eating, I forgot to take pictures of those moments. You missed out on the awesome lasagne we had for dinner tonight! Sorry! And no, they are not sticks in my yogurt! They are some kind of fibre crunchy thing that is actually quite tasty!
- TIME MANAGEMENT: Even though I was being mindful of my every day activities, I still 'lost' an awful lot of time during my day. You know, those moments where we get to surfing the web for an answer to a question that should take 5 minutes at most, but ends up taking us three quarts of an hour! Oops! Or when you sit down for a rest and suddenly half an hour has passed.
- SELF CARE: Cat naps in the day time are fabulous! I managed about 20 minutes and felt so much better for it!
- FAMILY: My dog is lazy! Except when I forget to feed her. She reminded me as I was putting the children to bed!
- FAMILY: My oldest son has a loose tooth! Exciting!
It was a wonderful exercise to do. It kept me on task for much of the day and I achieved a lot. Possibly more than I usually would. But I'm also left with the awareness that I could have achieved a lot more!
Oddly enough while I was folding my laundry today, I listened to a podcast talking about making the best use of your weekends (or any free time). It wasn't planned. I just picked something to listen to from my podcasts and that's what came up. Nothing like a bit of synchronicity to hone in a concept! You can find the podcast here. The podcast is by Kimberly Wilson and is an interview of Laura Vanderkam, author of the What The Most Successful People do series of ebooks.
Tomorrow is another day... I'm taking my lessons from today and running with them!