Mindfulness in the Wake of Tragedy

23 Sep


Life happens. It just does. Sometimes life comes knocking on our door with tragedy, and sometimes it keeps coming back with more. Life has a way of pulling back the layers, one by one, until all of our vulnerability is exposed in the nude. Forcing us to either run away from ourselves or embrace our true rawness. At some point, from all of that tragedy and exposed vulnerability, energy starts to shift and something beautiful blossoms (if you let it!). Its the moment when our soul experiences a sort of sonic boom. Its an Ah Ha! moment, be it a very tough and painful reality or some personal revelation about your next step in life. Its a personal equinox.

The past few weeks have brought a yin and yang of energizing inspiration and deep agony. In the wake of tragedy I have refocused my energy and love into things I can influence and change, namely myself. I have also been pouring some additional loving energy into my beautiful little boy. Then any left over I’ve been refocusing into my professional realm, which is also a part of who I am. This has been both positive and rewarding, albeit it with some challenges and frustrations along the way. And I will fully admit that I’ve stumbled from grace at least a dozen times in the past week. It is no coincidence that the knocking on my door is due, at least in part, to the fall equinox. I must mention, I’ve never been more ready for Fall than I am this year.

One thing is different though, I am watching myself a little bit more each time I stumble and I am resetting and rebounding much more quickly. Isn’t it amazing how resilient we can become, even with age? It all comes down to that sonic boom. Its taught me more about the essence of gratitude and mindfulness. I feel as though gratitude is what has characterized my 30s. I started writing about gratitude from the time I started this blog 5 years ago… and I am still writing about it today. I am starting to embrace and celebrate gratitude in the simple pleasures of daily living in a way I’ve never been able to before. I look for beauty in places I may have previously overlooked it. About a week ago I took the very end of a stalk of celery, the part you usually toss away, and I placed it in a glass dish with water. Each day I’ve been inspecting it while I sit at the supper table, marveling at how much it grows each day with nothing more than water and sun.

Then there is mindfulness. Geesh this is a tough one! This is probably where I’ve been stumbling the most. This week started out mindful and gracious. By Wednesday afternoon I was wound-up like a top, feeling constricted, unable to sleep, and unable to manage my emotions with grace. I just wasn’t ready for old man life to come knocking at my door, yet again, and it cascaded from there. The only thing that is different is that each time I fell from grace, I fell a little more lightly and got back-up a little more quickly. I also took steps to care for myself in the process, and unwind that top a bit. That is a shift in itself. Like anything else, mindfulness requires practice, and lots of it. Each day I am more cautious to watch my mind, watch my reactions. Now I need to also watch my focus and deliberately channel my love and energy to where it matters most.

Something else also shifted for me this week. I can finally see a life ahead of me. I don’t care to know where it is going or what the destination is. What I am going to focus on is deliberately defining how my life is characterized in moving forward. Its not going to be a storybook fairy tale, and that is okay. What I care more about now is creating a life I enjoy living in its simplicity. Being genuine to myself and others. In smiling more and laughing more often. Forgiving more and loving deeper. In falling from grace a little more softly and perhaps a little less frequently.

4 Responses to “Mindfulness in the Wake of Tragedy”

  1. William Harned September 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    Ah, moving forward sailing on the breath of life.

    • vivevivir September 24, 2016 at 8:14 am #

      Thank you Dad! Yup we are sailing along on this boat called life. Its up to us to steer the boat in the right direction without any particular destination in mind.

  2. Ursula September 23, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

    Yet another beautifully woven tapestry in richly lived hues of impermanence. I always love reading your thoughts and learning from you, thank you for continuing this blog.

    • vivevivir September 24, 2016 at 8:13 am #

      Thank you Ursula. I enjoy sharing, even if its challenging, and I am glad that you enjoy reading. 🙂

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