Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Walking back to mindfulness

Every day I have a perfect opportunity to be mindful for about 30 minutes because every day I walk my dogs first thing in the morning. Usually I head out somewhere between 6-6.30 am. It is still and calm, peaceful and very often the only thing you can hear is birdsong and the occasional passing car in the distance. There are very few people around if any and I can go days without seeing another soul on my morning walk. Depending which route I take I may see and hear the 2 Canada geese that have chosen a pond near me as their summer home. If I am lucky and the dogs are distracted I may see and make eye contact with a deer (this usually signifies an excellent day for me)

On days when I am present I can spot deer tracks, see bright red mushrooms or even yellow brain fungus (it's a real thing, look it up) and on the weekend when time allows I stop and take a picture. I notice the seasons and the ebb and flow of life. Every year I await the arrival of the Canada geese, look for the first blue robin egg shell, the first frog spawn in a pond or puddle. I marvel at sunrises and red sky by morning and occasionally,  I am freaked out every time I see it, the sun and the moon right next to each other on the same horizon - weird.  I live in a beautiful area of Cornwall and it has so much to see, do and marvel at. Sadly I only notice it on "good" days.

Most of my mornings however are spent like this; cursing myself for the night before, how much I drank, why did I drink, when will I learn, how stupid I am, how much of a waste this is, how I am ruining my life and health, what a crap mom I am, how bad I feel, how sick my stomach is, am I still drunk? will I get pulled over? how will I cope without a license? will I lose my job? gosh I hate my life, what a loser, how much work will I get done today, I hope my boss doesn't notice, what if I smell of booze, what if everyone knows and they talk about me all the time, how soon can I get back to bed, maybe I should call in sick, that's it last night was the end, no more I am done, this time I mean it, it has to be true, I can't keep on like this, this is such a struggle, I feel so bad all the time, another cup of coffee I'll be fine, maybe a Danish will help, am I walking straight, what if someone sees me, do I look drunk, why have I ended up here, when will this end, must get home and get my shit together- and I am back at the car, walk over !

How does that sound for relaxing first thing? All that is before I even shower and start the day and it is most days, not the odd one. It is like a negativity train rocketing through my head and it goes on and on.

Not today though. I made a conscious effort to remain centred and present and not to let my mind wander onto anything except the birds, the wind, the blue sky and my breathing. It kept slipping but I kept pulling it back to centre. And you know what? I had a great day. Full of energy, concentrating on the task at hand, remaining calm under pressure and really quit in the zone. Only day 4 today so no great proclamations but it was a good day today. I had one thought about wine, more of a 4 o'clock reflex but thought 'I am worth more than that' end of reflex.

So the plan is more of the same tomorrow. The big challenge will come on a rainy day, I hate walking in the rain so if I can change that mindset I will be onto a winner.

Ginger Groundhog


14 comments:

  1. Oh wow - your morning walk sounds amazing. Well, not the drinking angst-ridden one, obviously.. I love Cornwall - happy childhood holiday memories (although I felt a slight pang when I realised you live so far away from me, I think I'd been harbouring thoughts of a meet up one day when we all have this nailed; -)) You sound really positive - and I like hearing it!!! Red xx

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    1. Have car will travel! Yes had the same thought re meeting up. I am positive and trying to resist saying But....
      Hope you are well buddy.

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  2. Taking time to "smell the roses" is important. When you focus on the beauty around you it can push off the negativity if you let it, and lift you up. Rain is beautiful too! (Cleaning the dogs after a walk through the rain, okay not so much fun but everything can't be perfect.) Good job on Day 4! We're doing this! Reflex thoughts are interesting aren't they? I think that's called progress! HD

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    1. Oh so nice to hear someone who gets the wet dog thing. Wettest winter in Cornwall for decades. Drying dogs twice a day every day from Oct. - April. I have to be careful with thought as I know I ruminate. We are doing this!

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  3. Your morning walks sound amazing. I think it's amazing that you can get up so early when you have been drinking the night before!! I am so not a morning person, even now I am af! But it's a beautiful time of the day, so I wish I was a morning person. Congrats on day 4! Keep going. A x

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    1. My body clock has reversed as I've got older. I used to be a night owl but now I like my early mornings. As for getting up early hungover, the first 5 minutes are usually a torrent of foul language, misery and complaining but somehow I have always managed to prioritise my dogs over a lie in.

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  4. Walking is a beautiful way to connect with the bigger things in life!
    You are so worth everything good.
    xo
    Wendy

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    1. Oh thank you Wendy. I am trying to keep making positive affirmations even through gritted teeth when it all feels a bit false and contrived but the overwhelming consensus on affirmations is fake it til you make it. Had a great walk this am too, even more mindful.

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  5. Sounds like you live in a beautiful spot. We have the same thoughts, exactly the same. Your mindfulness walks sound much better!

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    1. They are awful and not at all empowering. I have not seen your moniker before, are you new to this area of the soberverse? If you are then welcome. I will check and see if I can find your blog if you have one. Thanks for commenting it means a lot.

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  6. I know the negative self talk is a killer, the darkness I call it. Everything is so much harder when we drink, why do we keep doing it?
    Conrats on day 4!
    xoxox

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    1. Why indeed? In my post today I also said how much I fear being positive about it for fear I will jinx it and end back awash in vodka, wine and shame. It's all so silly.

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  7. Such a great reminder, Ginger, to remember to take time to ourselves for self-care and peace and to stay mindful. I love your paragraph about what you used to be thinking during your mornings. Haha! Yep! So nice to have a quiet brain, isn't it? You are doing so well and huge congrats on Day 4!

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    1. Thanks Ripleybelle. I was so touched by your lovely message to ainsobriety, so important to acknowledge super supporters like her and Untipsy also.
      Mindfulness is so huge and we even offer it as a therapy model at my company. It's not just fashionable for fashions sake but because it works. Only trouble is, like everything else you have to work at it. Today was a very mindful walk both morning and evening, yay for me!

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