My 52 week challenge has come to an end. The final challenge now behind me, I've taken some time to think about where I've come from, what I've 'seen' and where I've landed.
Has a year of living more mindfully changed me? Am I 'better' at being mindful than I was this time last year? Do I like myself more? Do other people? These questions are kind of big ... I'm not sure I can do them justice with a good answer. Even so, I'll do my best.
Yes, I think I am changed, but maybe only subtly.
Yes, I am 'better' at being mindful, but I'm certainly not at a place where my every moment is mindful (or even the majority of them).
I like myself more ... sometimes.
Other people? I have no idea - though I did ask my husband if he'd noticed a difference in me. He declared that he couldn't really tell. He is, after all, with me so often it's hard to get the 'distance' to see change. But then he paused for a moment and said: "actually, I haven't gotten in trouble the last few months - even when I probably deserved it". This, to me at least, was significant. Maybe I am slower to snap now than I was. Maybe I give myself a chance to consider before I respond. Maybe, just maybe, I have changed.
Regardless of the answers to these questions, I know one thing for sure: my life feels better when it's lived in the moment. Even if it's not every moment, knowing that I'm capable of turning off the distractions (whether internal or external) is huge. I still have a way to go, though. As I type, I have no fewer than five internet tabs open (though I'm not flicking between them the way I once would); the television is on, though it's not my focus. I just stopped mid-post to take a phone call from my sister.
There are times when I choose to be less than 100 per cent mindful and there are times when I give what I'm doing my all.
But I always have a choice.
My 52 week challenge may be over, but my mindfulness quest is far from complete. The next year will no doubt be full of just as many challenges as this year has held, if not more. I have another baby on the way, a new blog to launch,a yoga business to continue running, a Masters degree to complete. My aim is to live every day of my life as mindfully as possible. Mindfulness has become like a 'reset' switch for me - returning me to a level field, giving me perspective, giving me space to be however I am in the moment.
Thank you for sharing the past 52 weeks with me. I hope you'll come on over to my new blog and visit me there. Details coming very soon!