Sunday, March 2, 2014

Smile! It's Mindful Monday

Susie Cakes anything
Love the life you live!

Happy [Mindful] Monday! Here are some photos of things that make me smile! And below are just some thoughts.

Borough Market and duck confit sandwiches - made so simply but so so good
Oh, and of course, my Mango toggle coat 
I have to admit - I constantly compare myself to others. As I approach my 28th birthday, I think about where I thought I'd be now, where I am now, and where others are by now in their lives. I think about what I "should" be doing or what I "should" have done. I think about what I have yet to achieve - regretting the past and worrying endlessly about the future. But what does constant comparison achieve in the short or long run? I've come to find that it doesn't achieve anything more than unqualified discontent.

"Comparison is the death of joy."
                                                                                  - Mark Twain

Recently, I've been reading a book called Buddha's Brain which explains mindfulness and how to achieve it. Basically, the ins-and-outs of living in the moment and for the moment. It describes the need to live in the present and to appreciate every bit of it - to live with intent.

Inside/Outside dinners with my girlfriends
I'm not quite finished with the book yet, but I've found it helpful and, at the very least, enlightening. One aspect I found particularly interesting is its portion about comparison. You'd be able to guess that comparison isn't a fruitful endeavor, rather incredibly detrimental to overall happiness. But what struck me most was the author's explanation of why.

Comparison means we're basing our value in ourselves on an outside source, something we have no control over and (more importantly) something that is inconstant. Even ourselves are not static. We only have a sense of self, but in fact we are constantly changing - influenced by our surroundings, feelings, and circumstances. Comparing ourselves to something inconstant, basing our value on something that is ever-changing, in order to find happiness or contentment is futile. We aim for a moving target, but our marksmanship is irrelevant.

Every manifestation of self is impermanent.
- Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain

So, in order to find happiness, we must not compare ourselves to others or rely upon unstable factors. We must accept that all we have is now and what we choose to do with it. All we can really do is decide how to react to those inconstants, determine our next step, and embrace that there is a "next" at all. 

In the spirit of living a more mindful and appreciative life, I've decided to supplement last week's microresolutions with a larger goal: to truly appreciate that I am not in need of a single thing in life, and to quit comparing myself to anything other than what I want to be at this moment. Lofty goals, huh? I know... But it's certainly doable.
basically anything coconut
this outfit - and sample coffee cups with handles!
Grilled fish and fresh heirloom tomatoes
All that mindfulness doesn't mean that we can't look forward to our futures, however! So, just for fun, here's a list of things I'm looking forward to this week:
  • Making this Braided Pesto Bread. I'm especially excited about having it all to myself. *evil laugh*
  • Spending 10 days in California (!!!) beginning this Thursday.
  • Sharing these Lemon Blueberry Muffins (vegan alternative) with you!
  • Continuing to work out and feel sore again. I absolutely love it. 
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  1. That is all looking good!

  2. ahh i love all these snapshots! Happy Monday!

    love from San Francisco,


Thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments!

xo - Christine from The Lion's Den