It’s no secret that I’ve been searching for inspiration and meaning in my life.

I know I said I was practicing mindfulness and I am! I’ve also been spending some time reflecting on my past. Specifically I’ve been trying to track down the moment of when I lost a really important part of myself.

It started when I was in elementary school. It probably started even earlier than that, but I just can’t remember. I wrote a story on global warming. And then I wrote many stories on global warming. I had this buzzing and explosive passion for solving this horrible snowballing problem. I would be a trail blazer and find some way to change the world so that everyone would be as mindful as me of the environment. Fast forward a few years later and I’m in university falling in love with the idea of going to impoverished countries and solving one of the greatest mathematical problems that ever existed… the 80/20 equation. I spent days and nights reading inspiring messages that past trail blazers shared in magazines and articles and I fantasized about saving up enough money to go to Africa to help create wells for different communities. I felt I had a strong grasp on economics and I was taking a course on American and Canadian politics… I was ready to take on the world. Then gay rights took center stage when a local Mayor compared the pride flag to a made up flag representing pedophiles. I poured my heart and soul into letters that I sent to the major and other local political figures sure that I could make them grasp the depth of their errors. Not long after that I scraped myself out of an abusive relationship and willed myself to make something beautiful out of it. I was going to write a book that would inspire women and men too who felt hopeless and trapped. I would volunteer at shelters. Maybe I would become a psychologist! I would travel the country giving inspiring speeches and I would make the world understand that we had it all wrong – women trapped in abusive relationships aren’t pathetic at all – they’re you, they’re me and we can’t give up on us. I was going to once again be a trail blazer… going through the court system and being an example for other women who were too afraid to speak out. Well, I did that much, but I didn’t volunteer, I eventually put down my pen and I stopped caring. I got over it. It’s like the flame was so huge and so engulfing that it eventually burned out all of the inspiration. Or maybe I just realized that every cause I took up I eventually gave up on. I never followed through. I didn’t go to Africa, I didn’t even recycle 100% of the time, and I eventually even stopped crying for women who were in abusive relationships.

I wonder if I’ll ever find that kind of inspiration again. Maybe I would have done more if I had practiced mindfulness back then. Instead of feeling like I needed to go to Africa, maybe I could have volunteered at a local soup kitchen or bought someone supper. It has always been go big or go home with me. And in the end I always went home.

I just wish I could recapture that sort of feeling. The sort of emotions that gives you chills. Like that one night when my family went to my cousin’s wedding. Mom and dad let me and my brothers stay for the whole thing. It was one of those high energy nights and when we left a bit past midnight the summer air was still mild enough that we didn’t need sweaters. My older sister left with us and we all went to a gazebo in the park. We had a picnic there with some left over treats from the reception and I still remember how it felt to run around the park beside my sister drawing picture art with sparklers. I didn’t save the world that night, but I felt inspired. There was definitely magic in the air.

I hope that I find that kind of inspiration again.

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I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about personal growth. There seems to be a resounding theme – while they don’t coin it as mindfulness, everything seems to circle back to its meaning.

Mindfulness is a tool I seemed to have misplaced years ago. I’ve never mastered it, and I don’t think it’s something I will ever fully master. My mind isn’t wired to live fully in the present 100% of the time. Blog, when I told you that my heart is heart breakingingly sentimental that doesn’t even cover the half of it. And my heart is also anxious about the future. I think this is all the more reason for me to never give up on this tool. This book I’m reading right now discusses living in day-tight compartments by creating an iron wall against yesterday as well as tomorrow. I would be happy to substitute that iron wa51176ll for a fabric curtain that will still allow the sunlight from yesterday and potential sunlight of tomorrow in. Now – I just need to figure out a way to take life day by day, and today step by step. This brings me to the intention I’d like to set for the entire month of March – practice mindfulness daily. I want to wake up ready to take on the day and I want to go to sleep patting myself on the back for a job well done.

This world sometimes seems way too big for me. I can’t seem conquer anything and I can’t be everything. I have this expanding macro view and macro expectation of myself. I can’t seem to focus on one thing at a time… but when I focus on everything at a time I begin to feel so hopeless. When I read about other people’s accomplishments I start going down the same rabbit hole and the same list of whys… Why can’t I do yoga every day, keep my house clean, go to South Africa, volunteer, read more meaningful books, eat better food, try interesting things… and the list goes on and on and on until I’m stuck in this crippling grip of complete self hatred… and also anxiety for the future disappointment I fear I will continue to be.

Maybe I can find some  peace in mindfulness.