Mindfulness: September

Etsy: Karen Davis
Etsy: Karen Davis

How did September pass by so quickly? How is it October already? Not that I’m complaining, for October is my favourite month, but that’s not the point. It’s been a speedy September.

It’s time for my monthly mindfulness tip thanks to Yvette Jane’s little pocket book, 365 days of mindfulness. Last month I wrote about learning to say no, and the month before was about being present in daily life. You can visit the full list of mindfulness tips here.

September’s tips were all good but, as always, some spoke to me more than others. One suggested listening to my body, the headaches and the stiff pains, and responding accordingly, whilst others suggested finding solitude in a concrete jungle and repeating the mantra: “slow down”. All very good, but I think the most relevant this month is, quite simply,

LISTEN MORE AND TALK LESS. 

I’m a talker. I know, I know, it’s not exactly a secret. I assume that most bloggers (though not all) are talkers, and that’s probably a big part of why we blog. We can’t keep our mouths shut and we need an outlet for our busy busy minds.

I’m a lot quieter than I used to be. In 2008 I did a sponsored silence for charity; I was absolutely silent from Monday at 09:00 until Friday at 17:00. All day and all night I didn’t say a word. I worked in an office at the time and my boss agreed that for one week I could communicate by email and postpone all face-to-face meetings. It was the most incredible experience and it was the first time in twenty-four years that I enjoyed being on my own. The beginning of the week was disconcerting and uncomfortable, but as the week went on I grew to love the silence and my time alone. In fact, although I had a lot to say in the pub on that wonderful Friday at 17:01, the world suddenly felt very noisy.

Erika Works
Erika Works

I still enjoy time on my own in a way I never did before that week, and I now get frustrated when I’m surrounded by a lot of noise. I think a lot more about what I say… but unfortunately, I think after I’ve said it.

I use conversation as part of my decision making process, and I haven’t really reached a conclusion on anything unless I’ve discussed it with my girl friends and talked out my thoughts. Plus, R is more of a thinking than I am so sometimes I just want to chat. But, I now wonder if I’m developing a bad habit. Life changes on a daily basis and sometimes I tell people such details of my life that things have dramatically changed a week later, and by the time I get them up to speed I fear I sound like a nutter. Sometimes I think it would be better if I just shut up. Another of September’s mindfulness tips was,

FOR DECISION MAKING, YOU NEED TO DROP BELOW THE LEVEL OF NOISE AND CHATTER IN YOUR MIND TO THE QUIET, STILL SPACE OF YOUR HEART WHERE YOU WILL HEAR YOUR TRUE VOICE. 

There’s a lot going on at the moment, in both work and play – and I will inevitably share all the highs and lows in this space over the next few weeks – but perhaps it’s better to stop talking and start thinking until decisions are made.