One-Mindful

I’ve been thinking about re-finding myself (“What? Again?” you say.)

Yes, again.  There was the whole re-finding my kinky self, which is doing pretty well these days.  Now i need to re-find my work self.  And maybe my everything else self too.  And recognize that it’s just an ongoing process.  I don’t get to do it and then it’s done.

A couple of things have brought that home to me.  One is this quote:

“carrying on a conversation at dinner and texting under the table…. Continuous Partial Attention involves an artificial sense of constant crisis, of living in a 24/7, always-on world. It contributes to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, overstimulated, and unfulfilled; it compromises our ability to reflect, to make decisions, and to think creatively.”
― Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

I used to pride myself on multi-tasking.  Now I just do it mindlessly.  I would like to move away from that and be better able to focus.  Because this is also true:

“The simple act of being completely attentive and present to another person is an act of love, and it fosters unshakeable well-being. It is happiness that isn’t bound to a particular situation, happiness that can withstand change.”
~~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness

And being able to do that is an act of service.  It’s one I used to practice regularly with Sir, consciously turning my attention to him when he talked to me.  I’ve gotten out of that habit.

Partly, i’ve quit doing it because we both work from home.  He may pass through my “office” area, taking a break from his own work, while i’m right in the middle of something.  He would never interrupt a meeting, but if i’m writing or reading something, he often starts a conversation.  I may or may not stop what i’m doing to fully pay attention to what he’s saying.  Often, it barely slows me down – i can type, nod, and say mmmmhmmm quite easily.

In the same way, if Sir and i are talking, and i get a text message or email, i may open it and answer while still carrying on the conversation with him.  Which is going to be a fairly half-assed conversation at that point.

So one goal is to do that less.  To do it less with Sir, and less with my daughter and grandkids too.

The other goal is to plan a few days personal retreat.  I found a retreat center within 30 minutes of us that has an affordable cottage I could rent.  It’s near the river and has trails to walk and even a prayer labyrinth.  Years ago, I used to go away by myself every year for a few days, somewhere similar with nice scenery and simple living quarters.  I haven’t done that since I met Sir.  So that’s on my agenda for the not-too-distant-future.

I want to use the time to retreat into myself, but also to plan my work for the next 6 months to a year.  I want to do a visual representation of what I want – and maybe I can do that before the retreat, and then use the retreat time to build on it.  I want to eat simple food and take long walks by myself, down the paths to the river and mindfully through the prayer labyrinth.

Labyrinth-016-300x200

Slowly, i am building the life i want.

 

 

12 thoughts on “One-Mindful

  1. Loved the second quote, Olivia … it resonated with me as well. The other day we were out for lunch at a restaurant that has newspapers for their customers to read. I grabbed one and was flipping through while we were eating. At the back of my mind was the thought that I really should be giving Frank my full attention. Reading this brought that thought forward … something I will now try to do consciously.
    It’s great that you seem to have all this positive energy flowing around you these days … hugs! … nj

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    1. Thanks, NJ. I am feeling lots of positive energy – getting it channeled the right way is the only challenge! Good luck with the increased awareness of being present with Frank! hugs…

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  2. Sounds good ( as I type while B is eating… guess I better go) . When we first started ttwd, I would drop everything when B came home, no matter how long he was gone. I didn’t go on the computer until he was out of the room…etc. Time to focus on that a bit more again ( I have been thinking about it, but your post was the push I needed to take it from my head and put it into action).

    Good luck!
    willie

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    1. It’s funny how things nudge us like that, isn’t it? I think focus of attention is powerful coming from a Dom too – when they withdraw that, it can be so painful. Good luck to you too!!

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  3. We are always a work in progress. i made it a habit to turn my attention to SR and not even look at texts or chat, unless its necessary like we are meeting someone who may be passing information through me (subway delays happen). i love the idea of a retreat, but have never even thought about taking a vacation alone. i always had kids, no money, both. i’m the type of person who mainly enjoys things i enjoy as a result of spending that time with someone else. As much as i love the Met, i’ve never gone alone. It just doesn’t really appeal to me. Some of that is definitely a blind issue, other disabilities issue, for sure. The types of things i would do alone are all things i can’t do, like go cliff diving, scuba diving. i love the idea you have, though. i hope you get to do a vision board before the trip, or at least can start collecting things for it (you know-magazine, sea shells, photos, whatever). i also wonder if you don’t have any sort of routine, one that signals you are moving from working to simply being at home. i know how challenging it is to create separation there, which is why i started the ritualistic candle lighting and all. i don’t have an office, which would be ideal, but i would still need a transition routine/ritual. It reminds me to be present, not having a part of my brain still thinking about research. Much ❤ . j

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    1. Dear Jade – You are so far beyond me in your ability to attend to and serve SR (and maybe your willingness too, TBH) that we’re not even in the same league anymore. As for being alone/traveling alone – I’ve done tons of that in the years that I’ve been unpartnered. I actually prefer vacationing with someone else, but back in my single and single-again years, I’d take myself to the ocean if that was the most certain way to get there.

      Of course, being on retreat is a whole different thing – it is the flip side of being intentional about paying attention to Sir and the other people in my life. It is that turning away and turning inward that we introverts need so fiercely. It would be helpful to schedule time to work on my vision board before I go – I may try to do that.

      It’s hard to have a solid work/home boundary because some of my work happens in different times every day, but you’re right. I do need to work on making that transition more intentional. Good idea, Ms. Jade…

      Sending love and appreciation for you…

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      1. I feel like i should point out that the ways you serve the world and contribute financially are likely always going to be outside of my reach, realistically. Those things are also things SR would value, because she loves money and education. i just don’t have the ability and i much admire that you can, and do. i agree about introvert time, and i sort of quietly guard yours in the sense that i’m loathe to text because what if that is the fifteen minutes you get that day to just be an introvert? 🙂 The retreat is an awesome idea and i can’t wait for all the details. Many hugs n much love

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      2. Well, that’s super sweet, Jade – I don’t htink I’d last 10 seconds as SR’s slave, regardless, but nice thought. 🙂 And I do think Sir appreciates those things too. AND I almost always have 10 or 15 to text with you – and when I gotta go, I tell you. So I appreciate the thought, but don’t be too careful. I”m excited about the retreat too – more to follow. ❤

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  4. Oh, that retreat idea sounds so lovely!
    And boy does that 1st quote hit home. I’ve been talking to a Dom (and met for a playdate and I’m all bruised in all the right ways, But i digress) who likes to keep up a lot contact. I’m having a hard time keeping up at work!

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    1. Yay for playdates and being bruised in all the right ways!! Those early days with a Dom are some of the most intense and magical ever, IMO. Hope you don’t lose too much at work, but enjoy them too!

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  5. What a wonderful post Olivia, you’ve given me much to think about, thank you. Multi tasking isn’t always appropriate when with loved ones, something I need to work on. Good on you, I like the retreat idea!

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Thanks, Roz, I’m glad you liked it. And – I’ll just throw this out there – it’s not just that it’s not appropriate, but it can actually keep you from feeling the pleasure, even joy sometimes, that comes from being deeply pleasant and connected. Thanks for the support – as always.

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