This post is linked to Rhonda's On My Mind post at her webpage, Down To Earth.
Today I was having a wonderful conversation with a fellow who has a counseling service office in our building. The subject of mindfulness came up. In the course of the conversation, I laughingly told him I often talk to myself while I'm doing something "mindless like housework."
He countered that such activity is not mindless at all, that being mindless has nothing to do with doing mundane tasks, but with not paying attention to what it is that I am "talking" about; not being aware of my presence of mind. That is, I should ask myself to try and be more mindful of the types of things I am ruminating about while I'm doing other things.
To make this more clear, let's say I am mopping the floor. I don't need to concentrate on this task; it's pretty much habit and automatic by now. So....I should take time to be more intentional about making note of the things I'm thinking about during these moments.
What kinds of things am I talking to myself about? Do I sense any patterns? Am I re-running conversations, making my part more forceful, or re-stating so that I sounded less offensive? OR am I dreaming of trips I'd like to take but probably never will, of relationships I lost and what may have been if I hadn't, or what it will be like when I lose all my weight.
What patterns do I notice when I intentionally make note of these thoughts? Am I spending too much time being regretful? Spending too much energy worrying about something I have no control over?
If so, with what kinds of thoughts can I replace these negative thoughts (which I was not even aware of before)? Perhaps blessings. Maybe try and think about where I saw God in my life this week, today, yesterday. What can I do for someone else today? Hey, there's a thought...think about someone other than myself.
My husband crosses paths with me occasionally during the weekend when I'm going about my chores and chides me, "Hey, who you talking to?"
I may turn red -- and I am going to try and stop being so visibly verbal with myself-- but I'm going to look forward to saying to him, "Well, you know, I was just taking some pleasant self-inventory. Want in?"