Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mindful Engagement #2

Engaging mindfully is an essential endeavor to prepping. We think things through before we act and when we act we have a plan.

I’ve been quick to label myself a prepper, but the kind of prepper I think I am is more of a homesteader.

For me, the term “homesteader” used to mean someone going out into the wilderness, felling trees, cutting brush, and building a house.

My definition has changed.

As I have written previously, I really do not believe that a TEOTWAWKI event is all that likely.

A SHTF moment is much more likely, but even then, SHTF will not be a common occurrence.

That leaves the main reason for prepping to better allocate and use our resources, to eat better, more nutritional meals, and to have something set aside when the going gets rough.

For me, homesteading involves the mindful engagement of cooking from scratch, growing your own, drying/canning goods, learning forgotten skills like sewing, and, in short doing, doing things rather than paying someone to do things for you.

We tell ourselves how much time we don’t have instead of reexamining how we use time.

We think we don’t have time to cook a meal because we have Johnny’s baseball game.

Of course, we could throw something in the Crock Pot and have it waiting for us when we get home.

Or, we could take the time to prepare a quick, simple dinner from fresh foods and be patient that it will take 30 minutes to stir fry up delicious fajitas.

Our culture has embraced instant gratification, so we eat fast food loaded with fat, sodium, and other things not good for us.

Mindful engagement is patient gratification. Some things are worth the wait.

We have to be patient until the tomatoes are ripe enough to eat.

We have to be patient with how much time it took to can all that food if we are going to have the open-a-jar-and-go luxury later on.

Patience is definitely a lost virtue.

Our culture is enamored of mindlessness.

We are captivated by Bruce Jenner becoming a woman.

Mindfulness requires time and patience, but with it brings metacognition (i.e. seeing the bigger picture) that allows time for patient gratification.

The more we dive into the mindfulness of patient gratification, the more foolish we feel about caring about the Kardashians.

I have started reading again.

I write a lot, but because I do so much reading with and for my students, reading is not my #1 goal.

Recently, I caught myself being mindless and getting caught up in the drama of Jeremy Clarkson getting fired from Top Gear.

The foolishness over the amount of time I spent caring about something over which I had no control, nor any capacity to impact the outcome of, suddenly astonished me.

I glanced at the five “Home” novels by A. American that I purchased and intended to read.

I turned off the television, sat down and immediately read 80 pages of Going Home.

Not only do I love what I am reading, the content engages me mindfully.

Tonight’s reading binge will be much longer, I predict.

And sometimes after a long day at school, I need some mindlessness entertainment, so I’ll watch reruns of Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul. However, because both are so well written, my mind is engaged.

Yet, I really don’t watch much television.

I am trying to spend more time thinking.

I am not saying we have to sit in the lotus position and contemplate or put on silly spandex sweats and do yoga, but taking the time to think about the choices I make and how I allocate time is worth the time spent to do it in my book.

Engage mindfully.

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