a mindful day

9:58 a.m. Along the trail of my morning run.

About 14 years ago I was going through a really tough time in my life, and in an attempt to pull myself back together I began to read a lot about spirituality. During that time, one of my favourite authors was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hanh. He wrote a book called Living Buddha, Living Christ, which was instrumental in helping me get myself out of my funk.

One of the tenets of the book is the practice of mindfulness, which, in my decidedly amateur understanding, is about placing yourself in a state of calm awareness of your surroundings, and noticing their effect on your emotions and mindset. It is, from my perspective, similar to what is meant by the phrase "living in the moment" -- being very conscious of the present. There's obviously more to it than this, but literally, living my life moment by moment, breaking it down into actual minutes of "see, this 60 second period isn't so horrible" is how I managed to become happy again. And while nowadays I don't meditate as often as I should, the practice of mindfulness nevertheless remains something I feel very strongly about; in fact, being consciously aware is a habit that I try to instil in Alex even now.

When I take photographs for this site, I usually do so as a result of thinking to myself, "Oh, gosh, I need to take a shot for Chookooloonks -- let me go grab my camera." Yesterday, however, in preparation for a guest post that I'm going to write for a friend's site, I kept my camera close to me all day, and shot various moments in my very ordinary routine. What ended up happening was an exercise in mindfulness: because I set aside the entire day for shooting all day long, I ended up feeling very present in my life, hyper-aware of the most mundane little details. And as a result, as I sit here drafting this post, I find myself very happy with where I am these days.

I'll be sure to let you know when my guest post goes up (primarily on how to take mindful photographs when chronicling your life), but in the meantime, I couldn't resist sharing some of my favourite shots from yesterday with you here.

Enjoy. And take time to notice the beauty in your own life, today.

8:25 a.m. Alex's unmade bed.

5:20 p.m. Alex playing dress-up, and trying to get Rufus to wear her tiara.

5:23 p.m. Because a good backroll in the sun is good for the soul.

6:33 p.m. We needed some groceries, so Marcus decided to ride over to the store to pick some up.

7:36 p.m. Taken after Alex was finally in bed, Rufus faithfully at her feet. Time for Marcus and I to relax.


You can see the rest of the day here.

(Speaking of guest posting, the lovely Andrea of Superhero Journal invited me to guest post while she took a little break.  Feel free to check out what I had to say on the subject of intuition -- and also, if you haven't already, be sure to look through the rest of her site.  She is an absolutely beautiful soul, and has been one of my blog addictions for many years.)

SongBliss like this by Ani DiFranco