A challenge to put mindfulness to work: Quit complaining

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You might have heard, at one time, that you can do anything—for 60 seconds, 10 minutes, a half hour a day. It’s also said you can create or break a habit in just 21 days. In my recent posts, “A month of mindfulness…” and “7 tips to incorporate mindfulness…,” I suggest myriad ways to daily practice a deeper awareness within each moment—which could seem overwhelming. However, I’d like to propose a challenge. For the next 24 hours, choose one area of focus in which to incorporate mindfulness: quit complaining. As I write about in “Complaints don’t change a thing,” we can get caught up in negativity and miss out on the positive, the good that surrounds us. Even seemingly harmless comments like, I’m so tired, or the weather, traffic or XYZ sucks… can quickly turn our thoughts inward and escalate a pessimistic mentality. Just for today, let’s create a complaint-free zone and watch the life-changing magic unfold.

How hard is it for you to quit complaining?

Pantser, planner or a little of both?

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Pantser planner


If you’re a writer, the term ‘pantser’ is as familiar to you as the beloved setting where you daydream about all the writing you wish you were doing. Basically, it means to ‘fly by the seat of your pants.’ Writers like this generally begin with a basic plan, then let the story write itself. In life and in writing, I tend to follow the ‘planner’ route; i.e., I like to know what, when, where and how something will happen. Although this rarely transpires outside the confines of my laptop or notebook, I find comfort in staying between the lines. I might consider my living and writing style more middle-of-the-road, however, a ‘plantser’ who performs a little of both—more so now that simplicity is my New Year intention. A loose outline, whether for the day or the next blog or that story idea I’ve contemplated and picked apart for months, simply sets the stage for magic to unfold.

Are you a pantser, planner or a little of both?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Where the magic happens

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During a recent yoga practice, the instructor said (and I paraphrase) that when we give a final push at the end [of a posture]—rather than give up—this is where the magic happens. I believe this concept is applicable to life off the mat, too. When we feel like we’re at the “end,” it’s more important than ever to persevere. For example, countless times I’ve considered shoving my writing aspirations to the back burner. But then I contemplate my characters, run through plot ideas and dabble with scene. I pick up the latest Poets & Writers and discover the perfect contest. And a pitch I submitted to a magazine a month ago was accepted so what can I do? It’s that final push, the one where the magic happens. Whether it ends up published online, in print, makes it to my blog or gets no further than my hard drive—I have to write. Now, where was I?

Where could you stand to give a final push?

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.