One year ago I sat down with a friend, and the Unraveling the Year Ahead, by Susannah Conway. It was a journaling activity designed to help you reflect on 2014 and figure out your focus, and your one little word, for 2015. After my reflecting, mindfulness was the only word I could choose for my focus in 2015. Susannah just released a journal for this year, which made me realize how soon 2015 will be over.
In some ways, it feels like this has been a long year. Yet in other ways, it is as though I blinked too fast and time is flying.
- One year ago I was in the middle of my dissertation research and about to embark on the hell that was writing chapters four and five.
- One year ago I had no time for pleasure reading.
- One year ago I was unsure of where my career would take me next.
- One year ago my nephews were babies, not toddlers-going on big boys- going on trouble!
- One year ago my two trouble-making kittens were not even a thought in my mind (or the world yet!).
After my journaling and reflecting, I chose mindfulness as my word of 2015. I wanted a word that helped me find balance in my life, learn to slow down (especially at work), and make my health a priority. I wanted a word that captured my professional and personal goals and aspirations for the year to come. Mindfulness became that and so much more to me.
Throughout my journey to be more mindful I:
- read articles
- listened to guided meditations
- practiced mindful breathing
- attempted mindful eating
- took up adult coloring
- enjoyed slowing down (sometimes)
- noticed the beauty of nature around me
- wrote in a gratitude journal
- created routines
- began to get regular acupuncture treatments
- remembered my best friend with love in my heart
- wrote about mindfulness so much it showed up in a word cloud
- took quizzes about how mindful I was (and improved my score throughout the year!)
- wrote blogs – a lot about mindfulness even though my monthly habit dwindled
- began to repair the damages that stress had done to my body leading up to this year.