Mindfulness in 2024

Posted 12/27/23

2024 will be a new year, and with it comes New Year’s resolutions.  Starting out conservatively, to avoid making resolutions that are unrealistic, I would like to continue to try to eat …

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Mindfulness in 2024


2024 will be a new year, and with it comes New Year’s resolutions.  Starting out conservatively, to avoid making resolutions that are unrealistic, I would like to continue to try to eat more healthy foods, starting with my new smoothie tradition. Every morning, I throw random fruits and vegetables into the blender, along with a spoonful of Metamusil, and blend it all into a thick concoction that actually tastes pretty great.  This morning, an apple, some loose strawberries, and a handful of carrot sticks blended with ice and orange juice, giving me three servings of fruit and one vegetable. Of course, I try to eat other nutritious food throughout the day, but somehow unhealthy French fries undermine me and sneak their way onto my plate.  My New Year’s diet theory is that if the amount of healthy food I eat outweighs unhealthy food, I am good to go.

 Not becoming angry is a crucial goal for me.  Feeling angry and pissed off can lead to less than desirable long-term effects on health. Chronic anger can induce headaches, anxiety, digestion problems, sleeplessness, and high blood pressure.  My preference is to ignore the issue for which I would be angry, and just let it slide off my back, which was inherently learned from my mother who was never angry a day in her life. While there certainly are occasions when I could be angry, my choice is not to be. Problem solved.

Every year I have to make a resolution to drink enough water.  It should be easy enough to drink six to eight glasses a day to prevent headaches, sluggish bowel function, fatigue and tiredness, dry skin, dizziness, increased heart rate and an extremely dry mouth.  I am forced to admit some of these ailments bother me until I realize the remedy is to just drink more water. To counteract this, the act of drinking water is tied to specific things I do during the day. A glass of water via ground up ice cubes is added to my morning smoothies.  Also in the morning, after brushing my teeth, I not only use the water to rinse my mouth, but to gulp down a full cup to start the day off right. I admit that I get no instant satisfaction from drinking plain, old water, which can turn into quite a chore. Although Diet Coke is my drink of choice, to compromise I do mix it up with glasses of ice water or a hot cup of tea at meals.  At least then, during bites of yummy foods, the water is not as intrusive. Suffice it to say that this New Year’s Resolution will continue to be an annual challenge of mine. 

 Practicing mindfulness is a rewarding way to live.  This means living in the present and being intentionally more aware of each moment with acceptance and without judgement.  The biblical definition of mindfulness includes living life fully by being entirely present in each moment, accepting it as it is rather than insisting it be something different.  Buddhist teachings include mindfulness as one of their five spiritual faculties. A mindful person is open-minded and able to see the world with great clarity without attachment to preconceived ideas about people, places, and things.  These are my intrinsic values, again probably inherited from my mother. She is the one who, when I learned that my son, Francis was born blind, told me how fortunate I was that he was not also severely developmentally delayed as was my brother.  Or even the time when I was a child that our house in Warwick caught fire and half of it burned down, my mother saw the joy in the fact that half of it was still standing. 

Being mindful means being non-judgmental.  It is the reason I naturally accept everyone, including those with disabilities, individuals with alternate sexual identities, people of different races and nationalities, (as evidenced by my own children who are bi-racial, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, and Guatemalan,) and people of differing intellects. It all goes back to my mother’s favorite saying that “God don’t make junk.”  Each and every one of us is valuable in our own way, and the appreciation of that fact should be central to New Year’s Resolutions for everyone.


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