One of the running goals of my life has been to become more mindful. The catch is, it has to be my sort of mindful: which means pragmatism and skepticism must intersect with all the positivity. I’m never going to be an earth goddess in flowing robes, the scent of patchouli clinging to my hem as I float through life… I will just be a run of the mill urban goddess with black clothing and the smell of Jo Malone and city streets clinging to my black pumas.

So how do I merge the woman who often moves right past the roses with the one who should occasionally stop and smell them?

Well, if you’re me, you put it in your planner.

  1. Every day write a list of things that you are grateful for, make you calm, and your highlights
  2. Choose a daily word, something that encapsulates mood or tone or feeling
  3. Keep a vision book
  4. Write about gratitude on Saturdays- holds you accountable
  5.  Take pictures of some of the good moments in life
  6.  Take pictures with a thematic purpose and post them every day
  7.  Start the day by meditating MY way- which means to just sit for five minutes and try my best to NOT THINK
  8.  After quiet non thinking, read a few pages that will ease me into my day and give with motivation and calm
  9.  Vow to come up with two more things so I hit an even 10

What does all this really mean?

Being mindful means appreciating what you have. Being mindful means taking the time to appreciate what you have. Don’t be wasteful of the bounty before you whether it means something you own or a quality that you have. Highlight your strengths: work with or around your weaknesses. Figure out who you were, who you are, who you want to be.

It means that you must build in self care into your day.

Pushing pause on the remote control of your life.

I have always been someone who is perpetually in fast forward- 2x, 3x, 4x… and before you know it you are at the end… The end comes fast enough- why do we want to speed it up?

I am trying to figure out ways to make me STOP during the day, yet gives me the freedom to still be me.

How do I stay me, yet better and more mindful?

Photographs.

I am stopping to take pictures. I am learning all the different setting on my camera and stopping to take the time to play with them, create different types of shots. My photo challenge is giving me something to look for every day, a theme. This has been the great equalizer for me: I’m still thinking, because I’m looking for something to catch the weekly theme, but I’m not thinking a million random thoughts: I am hyper focused on finding lines or triangles or light…it’s out of my comfort zone sort of thinking…

Then there’s my weekly highlights pictures: By pausing when I’m doing something, I’m reinforcing how much I enjoy certain things: book clubs and movies and art and food (though most of these pics are taken with my sub par phone camera) I need to stop and focus when I’m taking a picture: by physically stopping I am putting myself in the moment: I am allowing myself to stop and reflect upon the moment. Taking a moment is going out of my comfort zone…

It feels nice to pause, even if it’s only for a few seconds.

It feels nice to venture a little out of my comfort zone…

Pause…

 

 

 

43 thoughts on “Pause

  1. Good ideas. But as the family photographer for years, I’ve found that I’m putting my camera down more and enjoying being in the moment. I caught a lot of guff for this at a recent baptism. Everyone wondered where my photos were. Maybe it’s time to recharge the battery on my 35 mm camera.

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    1. Most people put pictures of the life they envision. I’ve made mine more if images that ive seen and like for some reason, usually for no other reason than it speaks to me. I find quotes I like and write them in, and just things that make me feel good, or think or motivate. I’ll post a pic on Sunday of a few of the pages

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  2. You should take a look at David Did Chemin’s blog, Pixelated Image or his YouTube channel, Craft & Vision. He doesn’t go into the photographic how-to’s or gear or anything like that, he’s mostly about stopping and being attentive and really thinking about what you’re doing when it comes to photography.

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  3. I can relate to so much of this post. I also like to take photos, of family, events etc and I try to balance my phototaking with enjoying the moment. Last week on vacation, we were out on a boat and I took a few pictures but deliberately had put it away. I have some mixed feeling now as we had a wonderful encounter that I tremendously enjoyed in the moment but have now no photos. We were surrounded very closely by humpback whales and nursing baby whales for 20 minutes or so. They stayed with us, it was amazing. My 81 year old Dad was with us, and I am so grateful he was. I am still surfing on the gratitude wave that started last April with my surgery, and told so many people on our trip, flight attendants, you name them and I can say it is to promote awareness but mostly I am plain happy to be alive with my family.

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    1. It’s a tough balance when on vacation of enjoying the moment yet capturing phots…I struggle with this. But, that is when I will use automatic settings, because I don’t want to play with dials and knobs…

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  4. I’m pretty good at being mindful (it brings me joy) and meditation.
    What’s interesting to me is how people have recently pointed out to me that I’m good at noticing the moment or the view, or meditating. Last week I had 2 old fillings drilled out and new ones put in. I used meditation instead of anesthesia during it and it was no problem.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I had 3 Cesareans so clearly there were drugs involved. I just prefer not to have the after effects of anesthesia if I can avoid it.
        I joined a hard core hiking group that included a few former olympians and they acted like it was a competition. I wanted to stop to take pictures, and TBH catch my breath, and they left me in the dust. Life’s too short for that.

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      2. I don’t like drugs as a rule, but I like pain less….my husband gets a little antsy when we’re out places and I want to take pictures…to me, going places means taking pics!

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  5. I find the very act of blogging has made me more mindful – as I’m always stopping and thinking, well that would be a good thing to blog about, especially if I’m taking pictures of something. It’s also made me a more positive person.

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  6. Learning how to fully utilise your camera is great for slowing you down. I used to be such a snapper – applying what they call the spray & pray method 😂 but I’ve been working on being more intentional in my photography. I think about what I’m hoping to achieve, I shoot mostly with prime lenses so have to move myself to frame my shots, which also helps with being more mindful in the process. I now shoot entirely on manual & I get a real buzz when I don’t need to manipulate my photos in post production ‘cos the results out of the camera are what I hoped for. Still have LOADS more to learn though, but that’s part of the pleasure isn’t it?

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  7. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve learned to pause and seriously consider what the Serenity Prayer means. Bearing in mind I’n an agnostic, the prayer can still hold significance. It’s one of those thoughts that should grab people as common sense.

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  8. Hitting the pause button, being mindful and being present are great opportunities to be in the now which helps us in many ways. Otherwise we’re just running willy nilly and we’re scattered. Life is short and we have to stop to smell the roses more often.

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