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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


A is for Amygdala

I just read a great post by Anne Truitt Zelenka titled 5 Quick Ways to Be More Mindful. She writes:

What is mindfulness? Living in the present moment, keeping an open awareness, and maintaining a nonjudging stance. The more mindful you are, the less reactive and stressed you will be. The more mindful you are, the more you can experience the little and big joys your everyday life offers you.

Anne tells us that one way to be more mindful is to think of three things we are grateful for. I realized when I started writing that three is a magical number for me. I can easily think of three things that happened today that I am grateful for:

  1. Today my life offered me the joy of spending time with a friend I hadn't seen in quite some time. We caught up over coffee while the kids were at summer camp. It was nice.

  2. After lunch I had the pleasure of taking Emily to her annual physical exam. I watched her step up on the scale to get weighed, stand with her back against the wall and her chin up to get measured, and pass both an eye exam and a hearing exam with flying colors. This particular exam made me realize that she's no longer my baby. Now she's my big girl, a girl who is able to listen to and follow directions and have a conversation with a nurse she's never met before. And when the doctor asked her which fruits and vegetables she liked, she answered, "carrots!" Seriously, I couldn't have been prouder or felt like a better mother at that moment. It was still difficult to hold her for three booster shots without crying myself, but I don't think it ever will get easy to see my child in pain. Over post-doctor's visit smoothies, Emily said that today was "the best day ever," and she was referring to the fact that she and I were spending time alone together. Even though our alone time included her being stuck repeatedly by a needle, she still enjoyed it. Wow. That makes me feel pretty darn special.

  3. The third thing I'm grateful for is the fact that I wrote a post on my Burning Family blog about our decision to camp with the Burning Man community of KidsVille. Not only did I write today's post, but I dedicated myself to writing a blog post every day until we leave for Burning Man on August 28. The countdown to Burning Man is on!

This month will be a crazy blur of planning, shopping, and crafting, and some of it might not be pretty. I have a feeling Anne's tricks for being more mindful are going to come in handy many times.