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Mindfulness and motivation

For this blogpost I was due to write something about how I had moved on to other outdoor activities since my time with Grow, developing along the way. The closed season with Grow that I attended finished mid-April; it’s now mid-May and apart from gathering some pointers I’m ashamed to say I’ve done absolutely nothing. So no ‘development’ at all. I haven’t been able to do anything about my main target among these possibles because of medical commitments, it’s true, but there’s been something more holding me back.

I came back down to earth with an almighty bump after Grow finished and since then have been through a very low patch. Reaction to the removal of a routine that was really helping my wellbeing was no doubt the cause, though the crazed final thrashings of the election campaign didn’t help either. My motivation and concentration went completely and for a couple of days I just sat and shivered under a blanket on the sofa. Afraid of leaving the house, I was even more afraid of starting a new routine in an unfamiliar setting and having to deal with meeting new people.

Over the past few days I’ve begun to feel better and more stable, sooner than normal, and I think I know why. This time when things went west I decided to try some of the mindfulness techniques I had picked up at Grow. As soon as I was able, I began to collect what I could about how I felt each day before a short time of (pretty unstable, I admit) reflection on where I could go and what I could do later. Early on it was simple stuff like wrestling with the idea of having a shave; later on I was able to think about asking my partner to take me out for a coffee. To bolster my concentration each time, I reviewed a little of the journal I had written as part of my time with Grow. This seemed to lubricate the wheels, so to speak – by reminding myself of a good patch and remembering that, it made the transition into reflection on something constructive for the day easier. It was something concrete to work from, as a candle might be in other more disciplined forms of meditation. And it seems to have worked.

I could go on for a long time about how this new kind of mindfulness has helped me through this period. It’s become a very useful tool that I intend not to save just for the bad times. I think keeping it going to keep me in touch with stages in my cycle will be more useful than just the vague awareness I was playing around with before.

“Through a chink in the mind remembering shines – a bright light in bad times”

Thanks for reading.


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