40 Days

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I awake today with fresh hope.
The shining sun helps for sure.
It's Valentines Day. 
The Love in the air that I feel all the time, feels more "felt" right now.
I slip on my one and only red blouse, apply a glittery pink lip gloss around my decisive smile and with bold approach, head into this day looking for the good; the lovely.
I'm focusing my attention on what I love, whom I love, where I am, and where I want to be.
That's a lot all at once, but my intentional slower pace allows for savoring each thought.
I even take a 7 minute moment of silence to reflect on these things in full confidence that I'll be renewed and will for certain, find what I'm looking for.
My head just spins too much.
I'm rushing even when I'm sitting still.
I have these nagging notions to fret about the future and dwell in the past, missing what's right in front of me.  
And by "future", I'm only talking like 10 minutes from now, and by "past", I'm just thinking about last night's supper.  It's not wrong and particularly paralyzing, but it sure borders on such.
When I'm slicing a lemon, I should be loading the dishwasher.
When I'm putting lotion on my left leg, I should be  smoothing it in on my right.
I'll get the mail out to work on bills, see a sock on the floor, and rush it to the dirty clothes bin.  On the way to the laundry room, see the driveway needs shoveling.  I stop everything to do that and remember the shovel is broken.  I go to my bank account to see if I have anything left to run buy a shovel, and notice two emails I forgot to answer, and feel a need to quick check my recent Facebook post to see if anyone has "liked" it. 
I finally get out the door to buy the shovel.   
I come home to start shoveling, bound and determined to pay attention to NOTHING else til I get that done and of course, I remember something I was supposed to drop off at my daughter's school, and that I have only 1 hour to do it before the deadline hits and we're charged a $20 late registration fee.  So I go do that.
On the drive to her school, I'm crying.
I've shamed myself obsessively for all 10 miles trying to get to her school on time, because I never got the bills done, didn't shovel the driveway, forgot to actually press "send" on the emails I finally wrote, and see that no one has "liked" my post. 
I miss the deadline, get charged the $20 and come home to the pile of bills, still sitting there in unopened envelopes... uncared for, unrecorded, unpaid. 
That was the ONE THING I was going to do today and I didn't do it.
It was the most important thing. 
I laid my head on my pillow the night before, reciting silently over and over, "if I get nothing else done tomorrow, I'm going to work on the bills."
And, now it's 3pm.
What I swore to do and carefully planned out didn't happen.  
I'm officially defeated and I have a headache.
"I got nothing done", I say to myself.  
Oh wait, I put the dirty sock in the washer.
There, I got something done.

And life goes like this.
At least for me.
Please tell me it does for you, at least once in awhile.
You've been reading about, and purposing to slow down, haven't you?
You know you need to.
The stupid pace of running through the house shifting papers from one pile to the next, chasing dirty socks from room to room, and slapping our own hands because of what we didn't get done isn't sustainable.
You just noticed a "slow down" magazine cover in the check-out aisle and this time, you gotta take it seriously.  This is a sign.

So yeah, that was me.  
One too many articles and posts and headlines attempting to get my attention, warning me that a train wreck is ahead if I don't do something, so I am. 

I'm taking these 40 days to zoom in on mindfulness like I never have before.
I'm starting with my morning pace as soon as I hear the alarm.
I'm going to grab my slippers, pour myself a tall glass of water, go into the living room, sit on the sofa, look out over the field and trees behind my house and sit there in the silence for at least a minute or two or ten.
Then, I'm going to count my blessings and name each one.
From there, I'll take out the blender, pour in the almond milk and the blueberries and the spinach and sit still while I drink that.  I'm not going to drink it while I blow-dry my hair and watch You Tube videos.  I'm just going to drink my smoothie.

And I'm going to keep doing this with mindfulness for 40 days.
During this time, I'm inviting you to join me.
I'll provide helpful tips and share honest stories about my experience.
I'm planning to succeed, just like you do when you make a goal, but I'll slip, just like you do.
And it'll all be fine.  I'm going to keep going because life change happens in small steps and until I take one at a time, I can't see any change.
It's pretty simple really.  
The process is the transformation.  

Jesus took 40 days.
I'm taking His cue.
Will you join me in setting aside some precious time and make deliberate plans to be still.
Let's practice quieting our bodies and minds and digestive tracks and mouths and see if we don't see God show up anew. 
He will. 
I'm believing to that end.