It's harder to be than I thought it was. That's what I'm finding. I try not to judge, try not to react by lashing out at myself. Try instead to just bring my attention back to the moment, or to my breath. Stringing together moments of mindfulness. It may be obvious, but trying to be mindful doesn't mean you suddenly become a different person - whole, holy, no longer flawed, no longer human. It doesn't mean you cease to be you, or that you have to try desperately to be someone else. And yet, what I notice is that I have this expectation that I must be different, better. Even though mindfulness is about being who you are right now, accepting that. But that's always been part of me, feeling like I must be better. That whoever I am is not enough. Taking up mindfulness practice brings this acutely to my attention. And kindly gives me an alternative to hating what I see.
I've stopped keeping my praise lists. Not because I've stopped being grateful or stopped trying, but because the focus on my making the list was getting in the way of the reason why I was doing it in the first place. It became one more thing I had to do, and so I stopped. I am trying to focus on feeling whatever I feel, and seeing if praise naturally comes out of that instead.
This is a struggle. I wonder if I am failing somehow, not being able to keep to a practice that is good for me. But I need to let go of shoulds. And know that I'm not going to fall apart if I don't keep such a tight grip on all those things I'm supposed to be doing. And sitting and being with whatever comes.
I haven't stopped writing stones, but I am deliberately not sharing them all because the process of writing the stone, crafting it, polishing it and then sharing it was getting in the way of my moments of stopping and looking. If I know that I'm not writing stones to be seen, to be commented upon, then the process of stopping and looking will once again be the important focus, and not how the stone might be received. But if I happen to want to share one, then I will. Like this one...
Watching cherry blossoms fall, I step quietly over my wounds.