Mindful in McMurray?!

According to Wikipedia, several definitions of mindfulness have been used in modern psychology.  My favourite one being:

"Mindfulness refers to a psychological quality that involves a kind of non-elaborative, non-judgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is."

Wow.  That last bit...  Yeah, I can't say I've been following much of that lately...much to my dismay.

I'm heading out on the road in a couple of hours to visit my brother in Athabasca.  Today is his birthday!  Since I won't be home for the next three days, I decided I would focus my minimalist efforts inward and reflect on some of the ways I can de-clutter my mind.  After a very nice, "zenned-out" sleep last night, I woke up thinking about what I've been missing  Right before the holidays, I was really getting into defining what my own practice looked like and now that I've been cleared for physical activity (damned babies once again), I can't wait to get back into the downward dog of things...lord knows my tight hamstrings and constant headaches could use a little TLC.

One thing yoga always reminded me to do was be mindful.  To be aware of all of the awesomeness around me.  To enjoy my drive home across "the dreaded bridge" after every class because I was alive - and able to drive.  And driving across said bridge would enable me a better glimpse of the beautiful Athabasca river as it began freezing for the winter...and if I stretched my neck...just enough...I could catch a glimpse of the nicest hole at Miskanaw Golf Course.

I've stopped doing that lately.  I usually recognize my lack of mindfulness when I find myself getting sucked into that negative mentality that rears its ugly head all too often here.  It's a domino effect really and one that I must always be aware of...always.  Otherwise, I find myself bashing my hometown with the rest of them and grasping at ways to "move to the country" and live in Athabasca - something my family did and something I've been finding myself itching to do whenever I get's a great excuse really.

It's no wonder so many people have a hard time getting settled in Fort McMurray and why you hear so many complaints at first.  I believe wholeheartedly in the premise that "home is where your heart is" and many who have just moved here haven't yet found that heart.  So we need to give them time.  Most of my "heart" moved down the highway and out of town last a 4th Generation McMurrayite, that is something I didn't think I'd ever see happen.  So I can relate...but I can also push through and accept my new situation as it is and not let it get me down.  My hope is that all the newcomers to town realize that, for whatever reason they want/need to be here, it is a good place.  You just need to be aware of all the beauty around you (in the nature, in the people and in the opportunity) and know that you'll find that heart real soon.

My goal for the next three days is to get back to that place.  That awareness.  To start practicing yoga again and remind myself daily why it's great to be alive and well with a roof over my head.  To be thankful for the many opportunities at my fingertips and to seize them with an open heart and focused mind.

Up Next:  Project 3 - Back to Nature

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