A Summer of Happiness: Be mindful

Summer is drawing to a close and so is our read of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I've been away from these posts the last two weeks so we're heading back into Chapter 10 for all my readers who have been following all along. If you just joined us, read more. I think Gretchen has some very helpful insights for us in this chapter.


Chapter 10: Pay Attention

Mindfulness is the focus. Focus on mindfulness. And, already I'm veering off...

Mindfulness is a quality that I feel like I mastered (maybe that's too bold...handled) before I had children. I felt very awake and aware of the world around me.

And then...

I got shivers when I read this paragraph. This is all me.

"I have several tendencies that run counter to mindfulness. I constantly multitask in ways that pull me away from my present experience. I often run on automatic pilot–arriving home with no recollection of having gone from point A to point B. (This sometimes terrifies me when I'm driving; I have no recollection of watching the road.) I tend to dwell on anxieties or hopes for the future, instead of staying fully aware in the present moment. I often break or spill things because I'm not paying attention. When I'm introduced to someone in a social situation, I often forget the person's name as soon as I hear it. I finish eating before I've even registered the taste of my food."

Oh, dear. I need to read more.

Gretchen's resolutions:

  • Meditate on koans.
  • Examine True Rules.
  • Stimulate the mind in new ways.
  • Keep a food diary.

I loved that Gretchen scattered notes around her space reminding her to stay focused. I loved that she tried hypnosis (I've always wondered whethe it really helps or not), laughter yoga, drawing, listening to music.

I laughed when I read this, "One problem with not being very mindful, it turns out, is that you have trouble keeping your minderfulness records."

Though I could not relate to portions of the chapter, having not experienced them myself, I appreciated the chance to enter into these efforts through Gretchen's eyes.

And so here's my pinnable..

I'm off to stimulate my mind in new ways.

How are you welcoming happiness this week?