It is late night as per my standards – around 1030 PM. But I want to post this update when I am still in this beautiful place called Kotagiri, a hillstation in Tamil Nadu. I came here to spend a few days with my family as the kids have gotten holidays for a local festival and I had absolutely beautiful time here – I am so grateful for this episode of reflection and rejuvenation that is granted by my Loving Lord. I have come here 2-years back and I can sense how much more blissful this time the journey/stay has been and I attribute a part of this experience to the mindfulness training.
Though we are away from home, we were treated to homestyle food and excellent hospitality at this little cosy cottage named Moonshadow. What an apt name for the resort as we got to see the wonderful waning crescent moon and its shadow showing us the full-circle of the moon which is not easily visible – We got to see this wonderful sight right from our balcony and we got so much joy in watching the sunrise and sunset together as a family!
Now let us get on to the progress update…
First let me get to the numbers. Out of the 100 days, I managed to do PQ reps only for 56 days – that is pretty bad, by anyone’s standard. From 9 Dec 2017 to 9 Jan 2018, I did 100 PQ reps only on one day – that is where most of my slip happened as I explained in my last post. Now I am back to action from 10 Jan onwards.
Though I did not manage to do 100 PQ reps on many days, I did not give up completely as some mindfulness routines have been well incorporated into my daily routine. However, during my days of poor-performance in December, my Judge kept telling me that it has been such a waste of time to have started this journey as everything is back to square one now and there is no change in anything. However, this is where a little bit of discipline and technology came to help me. I was tracking my mindfulness goals as part of my daily goal tracker app on my phone. I checked the stats and it showed 56/100 and I thought that i might have done 20 or 30 out of 100 – so, this turned out to be source of comfort for me against my Judge’s harsh judgement.
There are 5 areas in which I wanted to be more mindful:
- Eating : This is one area where I have not made much progress. People who know me well often compliment me on this area though I have set my goals high. So, compared to my goals, I have not made much progress. And this has been the area of the biggest slip as mind started focusing on living in the future. This is a lifelong journey and I am grateful for having gotten to where I am.
- Parenting: This is the area where I feel the positive impact of my mindfulness training. I have incorporated a number of routines to make me more mindful when I am with my kids. I was taken aback (with great joy) 2 weeks back when I saw my 8-year-old daughter’s scribble on my office board ‘Golden Rule: Be mindful of what you do‘ and my 4-year old son’s question to me as I was leaving home one day for early morning prayer in a hurry ‘Are you going to drive the bike mindfully?‘. I never thought that kids pick up these ideas/words so well and I was completely unaware of them even noticing until these 2 events happened. And I am so grateful.
- Mindfulness in the Bathroom: This is an area where I have slipped quite a bit. I spent an enormous time in the bathroom thinking about a lot of my work sitting under the shower :).
- Mindfulness in the busyness of the day when I am at work: The results here have been mixed. There is one technique that has helped me tremendously during my workday to incorporate ‘mindfulness breaks’ – I want to write a separate blog post on this as this simple technique has helped me profoundly.
- Mindfulness in Prayer: Surprisingly, this is the area that has benefitted me the most. The quality of my prayers have improved quite a bit and the number of times I feel connected to God during my prayer have also increased – I am so grateful. Prayer to me is like a rear-view mirror that helps me to take stock of where my heart/mind is during the hours before the prayer – if I am mindful, calm and connected to God during the hours before the prayer, I have a very connected prayer and I feel really good during and after the prayer. But if I am chasing something, stressed out, negative and unmindful, then my mind loops back to those same items during my prayer – then I don’t feel much connection to God in the prayer and I feel loss or regret when I finish the prayer.
That is it for now. I hope to continue the weekly updates from this week onwards, God willing. And all praises and thanks to the Almighty, All-wise for all that I have been given and for all my struggles and failures – through these failures, I realize how human I am and how much dependent I am on the continual guidance from the Source of All-strength and All-power – Glory be to you, my Lord.