On Trying to Be Mindful + What I Wore

mind·ful·ness (n.)
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

Two lady bloggers I love, Kotryn Bass and Rae of Love from Berlin, pair reflections and link round-ups with outfit-of-the-day posts. I love that format, so I am going to steal it. This week, I'm talking about mindfulness and sharing some silly clothing photos. Can you tell I love the color black?

I am making a conscious effort to be mindful. For me, mindfulness means being aware of my gratitude, what my gut is telling me, how my body feels, and what my mind needs.


On gratitude:

I have mentioned before that I never seem to take the time to reflect on the goodness in my life. I do not count my blessings, I am rarely conscious of my surroundings, I take people’s actions for granted.

There are a lot of reasons for my ignorance throughout the years: teen angst, stress, sheer selfishness, and particularly mental health. Now I feel I am ready and willing to focus on the good things in life. I have a roof over my head, can afford my current lifestyle, am financially self-sufficient, have two degrees under my belt, can make art in my free time, have access to medical and mental health services, and more. That’s a lot of privilege. I should be conscious and thankful for so much.

Through my dedication to consciousness and gratitude I hope to find time. And with this time I plan to dedicate it to my community. There is no reason to keep my appreciation to myself, I should pay it forward.

I knew a woman in college who tried to do at least one good thing every day. She said it could be small or large, like opening a door for someone or paying for a stranger's coffee or volunteering. I want to work to adopt this attitude. I aim to be mindful of the relationships, love, affection, warmth, food, and accessibility I have and I want to be so practiced in mindful gratitude that service, big or small, is ingrained in my DNA.


On my gut:

Part of having an anxiety disorder means I do not trust myself. My mind is whirling and when I am stressed I have cyclical ruminations of silly, unconventional, exhausting, and terrifying things. It's hard to shake. Even when I am not swept up in a vicious stream of consciousness, I still do not listen to my gut. I get caught up in crazy, unfounded, irrational things all the time, I often think to myself, What makes this so different?

I want to bridge this disconnect between my consciousness and innate feelings. I hope to be mindful of my thoughts and lean in to my anxiety, assess it, and move forward. This, of course, is an act my therapist has been trying to get me to adopt for months now. Before I was too scared of the idea, now I just need to do it.


On my body:

I do not listen to my body. I eat pretty ok but I rarely exercise nor do I keep track of the food I consume. I was raised vegetarian, am allergic to nuts, and hate cooking so it's pretty hard for me to eat enough protein to keep me functioning. I remember in college feeling lethargic and weak and irritable all the time and I could not figure out why. I had slept enough, I had eaten recently…turns out the culprit was often a protein deficiency. I would realize I had not consumed anything protein based in over a week and then I would seek out some tofu or eggs or peanut butter, go to town, feel better, but ultimately fall in to the same pattern again.

I now want to be conscious of what I take it. Don't get me wrong, I will probably keep eating ice cream every night, but I want to consume enough protein, fruits, vegetables, and fats to encourage higher brain function. I want to be healthy in my body so I can be healthy in my mind.

I also aim to move. I don't like going to the gym. I like running sometimes. What I really enjoy, though, is stretching. If all I will do at the moment tune in to what my muscles are telling me and do a little yoga, so be it.


On my mind:

Mental health is huge for me. I've struggled with it quite a bit this year. My mindful goals are pretty succinct: trust leaning in to my anxiety and try to understand the link between my anxious, physical reactions and my mind. 

I do not expect to be good at all of these mindful goals. Hell, I will not be surprised if mindful living is near impossible for me. Maybe I will drop a few of these goals and pick up new ones, or maybe I will abandon all of them. I just know I want to be more conscious of myself, my surroundings, and how I navigate and interact with others in this world. Mindfulness seems to be the key.


Do you practice mindfulness in any sense of the word? Do you have thoughts on the "mindfulness" trend? Are you aiming to be more mindful in the coming year? Let me know in the comments below.  

- G R A C E