Happy Sunday morning and welcome to inspiration corner. I’m so glad we finally have all the GDPR compliance form sorted out and everything. It cost me two thirds of my mailing list and most of my blog subscribers, but at least I know that I’m doing what I need to do and hopefully those numbers will build up again.
So today I’m going to talk about mindfulness and honoring your intuition.
We all have those times when we know — we just know — that if we do something, it’s not going to turn out well. But we ignore our inner promptings because we don’t trust our instincts, or we still want to do what we’re feeling warned against, and one way or another, it blows up in our faces and we end up paying for ignoring our inner promptings.
Now once in a while that payment is almost worth it. Once in awhile, I still eat chocolate even though I’m not supposed to give in my histamine intolerance, but I almost always end up paying for it through having to take Benadryl, and it’s gotten so it’s not really worth it most of the time.
I’m not allergic to chocolate, but it releases histamine into the body and that can send me into a reaction of my histamine bucket is already full. (If you want to know what a histamine bucket is, please read histamine intolerance part one and histamine intolerance part two. That will explain the condition I deal with). Ninety-five percent of the time, though, I try to be mindful and really listen to my body and what it needs.
I didn’t use to, though. I ignored my intuition, I ignored my need for breaks, for sleep, and kept pushing myself harder and harder, even when I was in the middle of a meltdown. I did my best to avoid listening to my needs, because I didn’t want to admit that I was limited in what I could do.
But over the past year and a half, coping with histamine intolerance has made me aware of how important it is to pay attention to my needs and to listen to my intuition. It has made me aware of the need for mindfulness.
My definition of mindfulness is: Intently focusing on what you are doing in the moment.
IOW: focusing on the way you feel, tuning in to that inner promptings, focusing on one task at a time, focusing on relaxing when you need to relax. Mindfulness is giving careful consideration to that which you are doing/attempting to do, and not letting yourself get distracted.
I have stopped multitasking when I write. Oh, I still include playlists in my books because yes, I make one for each book, but now, I listen to the music between writing sprints. I no longer listen to music while I’m writing, or anything else for that matter.
I block social media when I’m writing. I use a program called Anti-Social that allows me to block certain websites for a length of time. The only way to unblock them is to either wait out the time, or reboot the computer. I block all social media sites, along with eBay and Etsy — if you know me, you’ll understand why I need to block those sites. Blocking social media gives me a certain freedom, and not only do I not waste time there, but I feel actual relief when I realize that I can’t go hang out there for awhile. That alone tells me something.
Mindfulness for me includes starting the day with my fifteen minute “Morning Meditation,” which I talked about in a prior blog post. During that time, the only thing I do other than listen to the sound of running water, is cuddle the cats who get on my desk to join in. By doing this, I am able to start the day with a clear head, even if I’m a little tired.
Mindfulness comes into play when I eat. I pay attention to how the food makes me feel. Does my body feel sluggish? Does it perk up? I have to pay particular attention to the meat because of the potential for histamine reactions—I smell it before I cook it. Does it smell okay to me?
I try to take a little down time each day. To pay attention to how I’m feeling. To close my eyes and tune into my spirit. I usually do this in the afternoon after I’ve been working for a while, to see if I need a break.
Mindfulness makes everything in life seem more meaningful. It means making decisions, not just suddenly realizing that I’ve frittered away half an hour staring at clickbait articles that I don’t give a fuck about. It also opens us up to those AHA! Moments when inspiration hits and we have these wonderful serendipitous revelations about our work or our lives. Just this morning, I had one.
I bought a cool little program called Scapple that’s the equivalent to a virtual whiteboard. I love it and I was working with that this morning, totally focusing on what I was doing, and boom—all of a sudden I had an AHA moment. I saw the potential for an eventual spinoff series of the Wild Hunt, should I decide to pursue it. I wouldn’t have come up with that if I had been juggling tasks and multitasking.
So, give a thought to mindfulness and how it plays out in your life. Take a week and really focus on what you are doing and thinking. Then maybe come back and tell me, how did it affect you? What did you learn?