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Missing out

I love it when I'm surprised by my mindfulness practice. Recently, in the midst of a conversation, as my feelings rose, I remembered and worked on practicing the principles of mindfulness: non-judgment, patience, non-striving, acceptance, beginner's mind, letting go and trust. That's a lot. Staying present, feeling my feelings, and practicing all that at once -- well, it takes practice. :-)

So here was the surprise. I became aware of what was NOT happening inside and noted, "Huh. I think my practice is helping." And that, along with some other things including this cool video, set me on a thought experiment that asks this question: What isn't in my life?

The biggest one that comes to mind for me is illness. On this day in my life, I'm healthy. This is probably one that comes to mind more readily as I age and see loved ones and friends dealing with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, respiratory disease, etc. Know what else isn't in my life? Drone strikes. Illiteracy. Earthquakes. Poverty. Violence. Floods. Lack of electricity, internet, access to public libraries and books. Hunger. Lack of potable water. Loneliness. War. The list goes on and on. This is just a short list of mine. It's not that I don't have concerns or things to be unhappy about, but there's a whole host of things that are NOT in my life. And I am happy about that. But you need to stop and realize what's not there. Because it may not always be so obvious. Obviously ... because it's not there.

Your list of what is in and is not in your life -- indeed your whole life -- is yours to appreciate, pay attention to, be mindful of, and to live in. Every once in a while, though, take a moment to appreciate what you're missing. Sometimes, missing out is a good thing.

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