Wednesday, December 06, 2006


It feels like a lot of threads in my life have been converging lately to convince me to spend more effort practicing intentional, mindful living. I've been impatient with the kids and with DT more than is warranted, and certainly more than I want to be. I've felt vaguely shaky and unsettled for the last few weeks, without being able to put my finger on the cause. I've been intellectually aware of how fortunate I am, in almost every way, without being able to work up the corresponding emotional appreciation for my situation.

At the same time, I've had the serendipity of finding several small, hopeful ways to adjust my perspective. DT and I went to a workshop on nonviolent communication that has given us some corny but useful ways to neutralize situations that often lead to arguments in our house. The facilitator also made a statement that has stuck with me: "Other people don't cause your feelings; the most they can do is to be the stimulus." It's a sentiment that I've always believed in, but that I'm not always able to internalize -- I am responsible for my own emotional environment, and when necessary, I can selectively let in things that improve it. Along those lines, one of my favorite bloggers, Karen of Chookooloonks, started keeping track of "kind blogs" which aim to be places of positivity and grace. Through Chookooloonks, I also found the blog Three Beautiful Things, a daily list of beauty in the blogger's world, which, in turn, gives me a daily dose of peace.

So, I'm working on it. I'm trying to be more mindful and to know that my perspective and outlook are just that -- mine. My goal is not to become an out-of-touch Pollyanna, but rather a balanced woman, wife and mother who has her eyes open and, when she has a choice, chooses joy. To acknowledge the internet folks who are helping me (without knowing it) I've finally signed on to Karen's kind blog effort with this blog, and I'll finish this post with three of my own beautiful things from this morning:

- When I heard WonderGirl come out of her bedroom after waking up, I went to meet her at the top of the stairs, where she was sitting and looking out of the window. Her first sentence was, "Look at this. It is such a beautiful sunrise."

- Empirical and theoretical results which match in my research.

- A good morning hug with DT which went on longer than normal.


Anne said...

Hi, Ruth,

I wandered over here from BTDF and wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your blog. It's reassuring to me that fellow grad students have similar experiences to mine. So, while I desperately try to get a proposal to my adviser that she will actually approve, I've been enjoying reading QoD to remind myself that a) I'm not alone and b) there are more important things than grad school, sometimes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Ruth said...

Anne, thank you so much for the kind words! It's reassuring to me, also, to hear that you can relate to these experiences. I think we can all use whatever support we can find trying to get through school...

Schnozz said...


Just stopping by to let you know that the kindblog site has moved, and your sidebar link is no longer working. Please update your link to Thanks!