I missed yesterday’s prompt, so I’ll do that today. As for practicing a day of mindfulness, I’m practicing rather than writing. So here’s the prompt:
[January 24th] Science of the Mindful Brain: “The three foundational elements of mindfulness—objectivity, openness, and observation—create a tripod that stabilizes the mind’s attentional lens.” – Dan Siegel, MD
Wow. I’m glad I took on the Mindfulist prompts because it would seem this concept of mindfulness is going to tie directly into my pursuits to become the best Meredith I can be. I’m going to approach this as a sort of 5 paragraph essay, although my paragraphs won’t be anything worthy of the school writing tests that we either loved or hated — I personally preferred explanatory to persuasive as I’m better at explaining than I am at debating.
We think of objectivity versus subjectivity when we read the news, and we are also encouraged to be more objective when we are making decisions. If we are subjective, we are allowing our own personal bias to blur the true meaningsof what we see and hear. In terms of mindfulness, we can let our subjective thoughts — “What a fool I am, I should’ve known that” — rather than being objective — “Well, this is what I’ve learned.” I personally could benefit from being more mindfully objective because I have a very bad habit of negative self-talk. It will take a lot of mindfulness to sit down and retrain my brain, and I certainly don’t expect it to happen overnight. As with everything else becoming intertwined, this will be approached in a FlyLady “baby steps” sort of way.
Skipping to observation, we tend to make more observations about the latest celebrity gossip rather than making observations of our surroundings and our internal thought processes. Now, I do enjoy observing my surroundings as can be noted in earlier posts. However, I need to focus more on my internal thought processes and feelings. What triggers an emotional response? How do I react? What do my emotions cause me to think? While I won’t always be able to stop and be mindful right away, I intend to take baby steps towards stopping, paying attention to my thoughts and emotions, and taking notes whenever possible. Somehow writing things out always seems to assist me in processing my thoughts anyhow. Somehow things feel much more concrete when I’ve written them out on paper or typed them into some application or another.
I understand openness in this context to mean being open to ourselves to become more open to those around us. We need to be more open to the idea of becoming more mindful, to practice mindfulness. We must be more open to seeing all facets of a situation. A slice of bread may only have two sides, but it also has many pores. We must see the slice of bread for the pores where gas bubbles formed as a result of the yeast fermenting during the rising process. We must see the slice of bread for the ingredients that created it. We must see it for the nourishment it provides, for the symbolism it has served throughout time. It is not simply a slice of bread.
To become more mindful, I will be taking baby steps to become more objective in my thoughts, emotions, and actions. I will be open to all facets of life and everything in it. I will observe as much as I can about myself and my surroundings. I will stop to meditate upon these things and practice mindfulness to become a better person. Through these processes, I hope to become more mindful in all facets of my life, paying closer attention to how I function as a human being.