Mindfulness is hard

I have a bad habit of saying yes to everything and next thing I know I am overwhelmed with tasks so external to myself and my purpose that I feel intensely frustrated and out of control of my own life and my own time.

I recently read a book by Shannon Kennedy called “The Life Plan” and throughout the book she takes you through basic steps to live a more simplified life both physically and mentally. After all, simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.
But one chapter in the book stuck out to me on values and how it’s very important to know our values and whether or not something aligns with them.
I was not doing this, I never have done this and I believe that’s why I’ve felt so frustrated and out of alignment with my life. I literally feel like I’m living a lie or that I have chosen the wrong path and I should have turned left but I turned right instead.
Thanks to the book I found my top 4 values were:
– Family and friends (quality time)
– Health (both mental and physical)
– Creativity (in my case I am a writer/musician and need to create these things, I also enjoy a spot of acting here and there)
– Freedom (do I have enough time on my own outside of work, outside of study)

Every week on a Sunday I ask some guiding questions and go through each value to check in with myself. I have found it so useful when I’ve had 6 day working weeks around university and I can’t see straight because I am so busy. It’s so nice to sit down and journal compassionately about my values and whether or not I am aligned with them properly.

I’ve always struggled with mindfulness, I could never find a sense of calm or sit still when meditating. I found it boring and time consuming, I just didn’t value or prioritise it but since linking the benefits to my own personal values I do.
I cannot be mindful 24/7, it is exhausting but in those quiet moments when I am journaling each week or waiting for the bus, I can and for me that is enough.

– Haley

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