Of Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.


I am interested in the concept of mindfulness. I have a tendency not to pay attention to the here and now and only think of what comes next. Or what could be next. Or what I would like to have happen next. (At times none of these are based in reality…) I find that time is speeding by and I am not enjoying the wonderful moments in the present and I seem to have blinked by moments in the past.

I also try to get past bad things as fast as possible. This does not always work. Sometimes you just have to feel those bad feelings and accept that they are what they are. Yes, I am in favor of speed mourning. I know I am going to feel bad. I have acknowledged it. Now it should be over.

Funny, it doesn’t work that way.

Thanks to Veronica Roth (http://veronicaroth.com ), I ran across a small book with the title of The Mindful Writer – Noble Truths of the Writing Life. This small volume caught my eye for two reasons. The first is that each chapter starts with a quote. I am a sucker for quotes. The second thing that drew me to this book is that it is that I frequently read about writing.

The author’s name is Dinty W. Moore. Yes, his name is the same as the canned beef stew. By the way, he is not named for the stew -not that it matters because that is what you will think of when you hear his name. On the upside, it is easy to remember his name.

Mr. Moore practices Buddhism and his book combines what he has learned from both the religion and his years as a writer. As a novice writer, his insights are reassuring and helpful. It is a nice volume to keep close by when you are in need of a reason to stall (hmmm. I think I will look for inspiration here) or as part of your “getting ready to write” habits.

In the book, he starts each chapter with a quote and then explains how that quote applies to the writing life. The chapters are short and to the point.

As I try and write more, I find that I am so busy trying to learn and so busy thinking of all that I don’t know, that I am not always in the here and now of writing. I have this wonderful opportunity and I should be excited, not overwhelmed with the weight of all I don’t know. I should be enjoying this time. The work of writing is hard and annoying and fulfilling but the freedom to do it should be relished.

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Thomas Mann

Would I like to be a rich and famous author? Yes, of course I would. I would like each word that rolls off my mind and fingers to be absolute pearls that the world can’t wait to read? Of course! Is that going to happen? The chances are slim. What could happen is that I find some people who like what I write and they tell me that they like it.

(I am referring to those outside my family. My family usually tells me that they like my writing. Hey wait, that isn’t true. I have family that doesn’t even read what I write. I would call them out on it but they wouldn’t know.)

Sometimes, no matter what I am doing, I need to just stop and breathe. I need to look around and see that today is a pretty great day. Or I need to pay attention to the bad things so that I can move past them. But mostly I need to stop and pay attention.

I don’t do this enough. Do you?

“The real voyage of discovery consists not seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust


About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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3 Responses to Of Mindfulness

  1. I strive for mindfulness, but it takes a lot of practice. I have a ways to go. I always feel like I have one foot elsewhere. I think that’s what I like about running, writing and music. I have no choice but to focus on where I am at that moment. It’s sort of freeing.

  2. I love that book! 😀
    Funny, most of my family does not read my writing either. Maybe that’s a good thing. If I put them in a book, they’d never know it. 😉
    I have learned over the years how to catch myself when I am not living in the present. Sometimes it is fun to skip between the past, present, and future though.

  3. Veronica Roth says:

    Oh man, wouldn’t it be cool to have the same name as a stew? Or maybe something more fanciful like tea…yeah…”Hi I’m Chai Yerba Matte” 🙂

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