Part of my mindfulness practice is taking negatives and making them neutrals (if not outright positives). Part of this is taking conditions on their own without comparisons to others’ or earlier conditions. I thought you folks might be interested in how I go about this:
Negative: I am tired and am having trouble concentrating. I try to work faster to make up for going slow, and then make more mistakes and get frustrated.
Neutral: Respect my body’s needs and pay more attention to individual items, rather than multitasking. Allow myself the extra time it will take to get things done. Be-Here-Now.
Positive: Finishing all aspects of a project correctly before moving on to the next item on my to-do list. Be satisfied with finishing things correctly, rather than worry about how quickly.
Negative: My hands are stiff and my typing is full or errors.
Neutral: Respect my body’s needs and type more slowly, editing as I go along and then reviewing.
Positive: More thoughtful writing that is better crafted.
Negative: My back hurts.
Neutral: Respecting my body and taking frequent stretch breaks and using proper posture.
Positive: Practising good habits, better appearance, and less pain and stiffness.
Negative: I can’t drive today.
Neutral: Respect my body’s needs and not put myself or others at risk due to slow reflexes.
Positive: I have more time getting ready in the morning without having to rush, and get to spend extra time with hubby in the car that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
It’s an imperfect process- I’m still working out what is most effective for me, so if you have other ideas, tips or resources, please share!
I haven’t cracked open Toni’s book yet (How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers) since I am finishing up 1493, but somehow I think she would approve.