This week was about slowing down; shifting perceptions/perspectives; making the small, big; the big, small. This pygmy slow Loris is a very endangered species from Viet Nam. I’m not sure how slow the Loris is, but the name suits this week’s things of thankful theme. Slow down. Breathe. Body, mind and spirit. Observe.

On Thursday, I was weighed down on my mile + walk from the Ritzyville train station to my therapist’s office. Heavy rain with the possibility of gusty thunderstorms meant I had on my rubber boots, and was hauling around a change of clothes and additional rain gear. All this slowed me down.

mindful walking

So, rather than fuss about the additional baggedness of my trek, the noisy cars (which seemed extra loud and plentiful), I decided to mindfully walk. Notice the groundcover that spilled out from the property edges of the fancy Victorian houses I passed. How small purple and pink flowers peeked through the lush green, droplets of rain prisming the grey skies.

groundcover

How the concrete slabs of the sidewalk were aggregated with stones – of varying sizes, colours, shapes. A place where someone had left a mountain bike tire trail through wet concrete – creating “dinosaur prints” for a future civilization to ponder.

The first acorn I kicked (it’s been a very productive year for the oaks – the constant barrage of nuts pinging off our roof, binging off the neighbour’s metal awning) was a goal scored as it nestled into the girder that held up the bus stop sign. Yeah me – I wasn’t even aiming for the “net.”

How thankful I am that I’ve been mindfully walking since then – taking note of the small things that I pass on my ordinary walks – making them extraordinary.

Like grass growing through the sidewalk cracks.ridgewood grass

The late blooming flowers planted by Ritzyville and not yet replaced by the ubiquitous, mandatory pots of perfectly symmetrical rounds of mums. feet

My mum isn’t very rounded. mums

Thankful, too, that I can find humour in irony. (And not the pressing of clothes with a hot instrument – I leave that up to my very precise husband – my clothes remain wrinkled). Wendy, the Mindfulness Monday maven has “technical difficulties” with her computer, so I found quotes on her suggested topic – anger. And, given that today, as I write, I’ve been repeating those quotes as a mantra since I woke up from a nightmare/tragic dream at 3:11 am. I have had ample opportunities to be angry at others, and especially myself as I did several rather “idiotic” things – okay, that’s being hard on myself and judgmental.

I have added to my journaling a new aspect. I tend to say “tomorrow,” and of course, “tomorrow never comes” as the song says. My health insurance behaviour health person suggested two things of note (she always suggests many excellent things – these are from last week’s conversation): rather than do something I feel I shouldn’t, or feel guilty about, or need to face up to/do, when I say, as my excuse, tomorrow I will do it. Think, today I will do/not do it, tomorrow I could. So make the phone call, don’t eat the salty snack, don’t binge on wine or chocolate – because if I don’t today, well, maybe I could tomorrow.

And, I am thankful she reminded me how important self-care really is. In my journal, I am to write each morning: As self-care, taking care of myself today, I will _____ because I care about myself. Tough words to embrace “care about myself,” but part of my healing process. So, I am thankful that I have both my phone and in-person therapists to help me along. (As well as friends/cheerleaders out there in the virtual and real world).

I know this doesn’t add up to ten, but if I try, I can get this illustrated and posted in time to be part of this week’s round of thankfulness. And, if my body and mind allow, then I can fully participate by reading and commenting on what others are thankful for. Another thing of thankful for me.

photos: (c) Lorraine

featured image: lemur.duke.edu