Building my Mindfulness Muscle

Thursday of last week marked the end of Week 8 and I was, again, focusing on my senses. This time around, I found it was a lot easier for me to be aware of my senses throughout the day. Several of the days from the week I even took multiple pictures. I keep learning over and over again that mindfulness is like a muscle. The more you work it, the easier and more natural it gets. Here’s a bit of what my week was like:

Week 8, Day 1: Sight

Driving to work requires a bit of highway time. I mean, Wichita traffic isn’t as bad as some bigger cities, but it still isn’t necessarily my favorite part of the day. This week, however, I really started noticing how much I love to see the skyline of downtown. It reminds me how much I love where I live and something about the buildings just really makes me happy.20171102_115936

Week 8, Day 2: Taste, Smell, and Touch

At our house, I do pretty much all the cooking. Which works great for me because I love to cook and try new recipes and I’ve been told that I’m a bit of a kitchen nazi…probably accurate. But sometimes on Fridays I don’t feel like cooking so on my way home from work I pick up pizza. Last week I picked up Knolla’s ICT pizza then stopped and picked up one of my favorite fall beers. Tasted and smelled DELICIOUS!20171103_183942

I then treated myself to a long, hot bath to end off the work week. I recently discovered Dr. Teals Foaming Bath with Epsom Salt. There are a couple different scents (all of which smell great), but the Relax and Relief is my favorite. Seriously, it is magical. A perfect way to end my day.20171103_192815

Week 8, Day 3: Touch, Sight, Taste

My Saturday morning was full of mindfulness. I started off with an hour and a half long massage at a local Wichita place called The Pushy Goat. Wichita friends, I cannot recommend this place enough. Go try it out!20171104_085247

Then while driving home, I kept noticing all the fall colors that were *finally* showing on all the trees. So far this fall, I feel like I haven’t really noticed that many leaves changing colors. But Saturday morning I kept seeing tree after tree with beautiful, bright leaves.20171104_104954

Once I got home, Rylee, my boyfriend’s daughter, asked if we could make pancakes. As a lover of all breakfast foods, I never say no to pancakes. We also made a blueberry sauce to put over top. And they were delicious! So much so that I almost forgot to take a picture before I ate it all.20171104_115633

Week 8, Day 4: Hearing

My boyfriend, Aaron, just recently finished fixing up his motorcycle. His goal was to ride in the Toy Run that takes place in Wichita every November. The toy run is an event where motorcycles from the Wichita and surrounding areas meet up with a toy or toys to donate to children in need. An entire street is blocked off and the motorcycles ride through Wichita with the toys to donate and end at Hartman Arena where the toys are loaded up into big semis. I went to go watch all the motorcycles drive by and was blown away with how many people came together for such a good cause. There were close to 2,000 motorcycles in the run this year and the sound of the rumbling engines and honking horns made me so happy that there are so many giving people in the world. It filled me with hope.Screenshot_20171113-122738

Week 8, Day 5: Taste and Sight

I was so excited to have my best friend, Amanda, in town for a few days. We lived together for 4 and a half years in college and have stayed very close even after she’s moved halfway across the country to Washington D.C. (I can guarantee this isn’t the only time I’ll talk about her on the blog). But about once a year her work brings her back to Kansas. This time she had a couple extra days to hang out with me! For lunch one of the days she was here, I took her to one of my new favorite restaurants here in Wichita called Lotus Leaf Cafe. This healthy, local restaurant has AMAZING food, a lot of which is vegetarian or vegan focused. We had their Red Pepper “Quezo” which is their cashew “cheese” dip for an appetizer and it was delicious!20171106_143938

She also helped me decorate my house a bit. I had been wanting to put up a gallery wall in my hallway, but I always seem to struggle with the design aspect of things. Amanda is freakishly good at all things decor and so I enlisted in her help to get the frames and things hung. I was so excited with how it turned out. The more I look at it, the more I love the way it turned out.20171106_190152 (1)

Week 8, Day 6: Hearing

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve become a big podcast listener. I do the most listening on my commute to work or when I take the dogs for walks. Two more podcasts I’ve been listening to a lot lately are Being Boss and The Robcast. Being Boss is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs and is filled with advice and interviews with really awesome people. The Robcast is by a man named Rob Bell and he talks about God and life and what it means to be human and also interviews some amazing people with incredible life stories. Both podcasts are incredible, I highly recommend you check them out!

Week 8, Day 7: Touch

I will seriously never get sick of puppy cuddles. Ned is our 10 month old, 80-lbs. German Shepherd and he thinks he is a lap dog. His favorite place to be is wherever you are and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He makes an excellent reading buddy.20171104_123007

I feel like spending the two weeks really breaking down my surroundings and bringing my awareness to my every day life has really helped strengthen my mindfulness muscle. Being on Week 9 now, I’ve moved passed my senses and onto my next task (which I will talk about later this week!), but I still find myself noticing things more. I hear the song playing in the grocery store and recognize that it makes me feel upbeat and happy, I feel the warmth of a hug from a best friend, I go on and on about how delicious the food tastes. And the more I take notice of all these little joys, the more they seem to be popping up every day. If I notice five things that make me happy one day, the next day I notice seven, and after that I notice ten. I’m realizing that there isn’t a shortage of joy or happiness in the world, it’s all about knowing how to find it.

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