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Mindful Writers: Just Show Up


I started this post last night, on Christmas Eve, sitting in bed nursing a stomach virus, armed with ginger ale and wonton soup. I didn’t want to write anything. Really, really didn’t. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would take a while. I knew it wouldn’t be my most coherent, my most insightful writing.

When I’m sick, or tired, or sad, or angry, or overwhelmed, or overly caffeinated, I don’t want to write because I think it isn’t the “right time” and that my session won’t be good. I’ve sometimes felt the same way about meditation. The irony isn’t lost on me—the idea that in order to sit down and practice something that ultimately makes me feel good, I already have to be feeling good.

It’s hard to sit with struggle, to tolerate struggle. Anne Lamott writes in Bird by Bird:

“I heard a preacher say recently that hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.” 

Let ME add that revolutionary patience applies to meditation, too—as in being patient with my current state of mind, whatever it feels like—and I think the “right thing” IS showing up. And for me, that “dawn” is a writing practice I feel content with, and all the insights, big and small, that I learn from meditation and mindfulness.

Whether it’s writing, meditation, or any practice that is meaningful to me, the more I can just show up, the easier it gets to show up next time—because I’ve already proven to myself that I can get through a difficult session. That my mind is good and my insights are worthwhile, even if I feel a little queasy. Even then. 

So while this may not be my BEST BLOG POST EVER, I'd like to think of it as a dedication of merit, a way to honor the idea of commitment to practicing in the midst of difficulty. A bow to the inherent goodness of my mind, and the inherent goodness of all minds.

Happy Holidays all! 

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Sorry for your stomach virus

Sorry for your stomach virus but yes, writing is always a form of relief, never forget it.
It's great pleasure reading your posts even when you're sick :)


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I think there is definitely

I think there is definitely so much that you can get from meditation. so many benefits that come a long with it. I recommend to all to take advantage here http://www.haasinsurance.ca/

Honoring your ideas in the

Honoring your ideas in the midst of difficult practice is also the truest.

I think there's this huge misperception about meditation where the brain is restructured to abandon all sense of struggle. Yes, it's definitely an awesome habit to pick up that expands your consciousness but NO, it's not an immediate substance that fades your glitch overnight & guarantees a permanent bliss fix.

The challenge of mindfulness is to just show up.
Good, bad, or scrambled---
I think achieving balance toward creative passions while accepting your present state totally beats aimless fixations& paves a first step toward being present.

honoring your ideas

"Good, bad, or scrambled." How about sunny side up? Or poached ;)

No but seriously, you nailed it.

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