Thursday, February 25, 2016

In Which I Learn from an 85 Year Old Woman

Hello! This Spiritual Journey Thursday we are discussing Violet's One Little Word: MINDFULNESS. Please join us!

Mindfulness for me means two things:

1. Looking inward

2. Without judgment

Instead of looking outward, it's looking inward: how am a feeling, what sensations are affecting me right now -- what do I see, taste, touch feel, hear?

It's thinking about eating while I eat - or really not even thinking about it, just experiencing it.

It's resisting the near constant urge I have to multi-task and be efficient.

It's taking one thing at a time, easy does it, going slow.

Just observing, accepting, without attaching any sort of right or wrong or good or bad or ways to improve.

It's shifting the focus from being controlled by the realities in one's life to controlling how we relate to those realities.

Being where I am, who I am, right now.

I think we can all learn a lot from 85 year old Nadine Stair, who answers the question, "How would you have lived your life differently, if you had the chance?"

Read her poetic answer here. (There are merry-go-rounds!)

And here's another version that appeared in Reader's Digest magazine, attributed to Don Herold.


  1. Irene, I thoroughly enjoyed your post and Nadine Stair's take on mindfulness. Her line, "In today’s world, the emphasis is on getting stuff done rather than enjoying the unfolding dance of life," makes my heart sing. Then, I read Don Herold's piece and instantaneously want to change my serious ways and just go and run in the wind. Thank you for these powerful resources.

  2. Thanks, Irene! Am still chuckling over the poem you linked. Love these lines: "I would eat more ice cream and less beans." Indeed! Avoiding multi-tasking and being efficient is one of my challenges for sure. Your words remind me of something that I repeat to myself when I get home from being away and the catch-up seems overwhelming: "Just do the next thing."

  3. I had to laugh as I read your words about resisting the near constant urge to multi-task (as I sit here reading posts and eating breakfast). Observing and accepting - those are good words. I especially like your two bullet explanation of mindfulness --look inward, without judgment. Thanks for good thoughts this morning.

  4. Thank you for sharing your response to this week's OLW SJT reflection. Although for the most part, we are in sync, my "mindfulness" take has some divergence (requiring of me a more purposeful introspection/self-examination)...Thank you for providing another viewpoint, another perspective for me to consider...And special thanks for linking to that amazing poem that echoes your mindfulness message. The line that especially resonates with me is this one: "I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have." ...Am off to the dermatologist, umbrella in purse...dare I leave it home?...God bless you!

  5. I'm right there with you wiht the whole muti-tasking obsession. It's so hard to overcome when there is always so much to be done (or at least believing that everything MUST be done). I love the advice from the 85 yr. old woman- so much wisdom there!

  6. Hi, so true. I inspire to this too: Being where I am, who I am, right now. Thanks for sharing. I hope you will consider linking up your important resources with my linkup too at Literacy Musing Mondays :

  7. What a lovely reflection on what we should be doing! More moments. I love that! Thank you.

  8. I love Nadine's thoughts! I can especially relate to "I would travel lighter" since we're preparing to move, and we're both lamenting that we have to much STUFF! Have you ever read the book, Mindful Eating? I haven't, but I remembered the title when I read your eating lines.

  9. Here's to more moments, especially the barefoot ones on merry-go-rounds.

  10. mindfulness makes me think about my Granny... care for your children she would say... their gifts from God, but if they don't fit he won't exchange... all sales are final haha

    another saying was mind your manners because they are the only thing that separates us from the animals

    and last mind your treasures because they are what we enjoy most when we are old.


Your thoughts?