Tuesday, June 19

A Forced Mindfulness Exercise

A lot of good has come out of my injury. First off, I'm healing well and am starting to come around. It should only be another week or so until I'm completely back to normal. I'm starting to feel like I can resurface online part time, with enough energy to carry on.

This past mouth has been an interesting mental experience for me and I have grown so much because of it. Not only from the countless documentaries that I've devoured on Netflix, making me feel like I was back at University, but the improved ability to be mindful about the present moment. To truly experience life, one small wonderful thing at a time.

Being that I wanted to isolate myself for healing, this meant that I had to learn to be content with what was going on around me and being one with my current experiences. No phone, computer, television, or outings for the most part. Truly unplugged, like my mind was on vacation. A friend asked me, "How are you not going mad? I would go mad without this 'connection'." The truth was that I was fine. I could spend hours in my mind thinking and contemplating life, watching the birds and butterflies fly through the garden from my window, or experience the amazing taste of my first summer strawberry. These simple things were beautiful and they happen all the time. One just has to slow down and take them in.

I caught myself multitasking the other day and was taken aback. I was watching a documentary while drinking green tea. Before I realized what I was doing, the tea was practically gone. Sure I could make more tea or rewind the show, but that was besides the point. I made a choice to not fully appreciate either experience and that stuck with me. The same can be true about thoughts. If I found myself thinking about other things while doing something else, I would stop what I was doing to give myself time to dwell on what was on my mind. I found that this would only take a moment to sort out and then I could return to what I was doing with full consciousness and clarity. They didn't have to compete.

So I'm happy that I had the time to grow in this way. It was unexpected and forced if you will. I wouldn't have allowed myself the time to do something like this on my own watch. Busy, busy, busy. There would be no time for exploration of the mind. That would be a waste of the day and nothing on my precious calender would get done. Well, with my body unable to function the way I needed it to, this gave me all the time in the world to just... think... and be.

For that I am extremely grateful,
Love Claudia xx


  1. This is both inspiring, and a wonderful thing to hear someone realize.

    It's inspiring, because you were able to take a situation and turn it into a learning experience. The wonderful realization stems from the first, and is actually very reminiscent of the small knowledge I've collected regarding Zen.

    Also, if you're receptive to suggestions regarding what to watch on Netflix, I have a few science programs on our universe that have actually been eye-opening for me regarding the nature of existence and how much we are connected to our surroundings:

    +Carl Sagen's The Cosmos
    +Wonders of The Universe

    That you can find peace of mind in the natural wonders in your garden (in fact, even having a garden), is a beautiful indicator of what type of person you are, and I consider you kindred.

    As simple and short as this post may be, Claudia, it is definitely the best I've read from you. <3

  2. Matt: That's awesome! :) I've been watching ones on the Earth, science, society, health, and green living. I plan on writing about some of them, so I'll provide trailers and links.

    Aaron: Aww! Thank you so much. I sure do appreciate that. Indeed, I'm quite grateful for the experience. What type of Zen things are you into? That's pretty cool.

    Awesome! I added the first one to my queue, but I can't find "Wonders of the Universe". Maybe they took it off.

    Thank you about the garden. Aww! <3 Yes! I'm so incredibly grateful for that garden. It makes me happy.

    Again, thank you so much hun!

  3. My pleasure, Claudia. Hearing someone I appreciate so much go through such a positive change is just wonderful, so no need to thank me. <3
    Well, my knowledge of Zen is quite limited, but as far as what I like about the lifestyle that stems from the philosophy include: peace of mind and body, and the independence from things like social pressures and monetary enslavement (more specifically the anxiety of being without vast wealth).
    It's a vague answer, I know, but I like to describe myself as a "Zen-Druid". ^__^
    Basically, I believe the highest level of life and happiness can be achieved through a connection to Nature, and the enrichment of the mind, whether it be through education, arts, helping others; an approach that I find has unfortunately seems to have been virtually forgotten by society, and the absence of which I see as society's greatest folly.
    Thank you, Claudia. <3
    It required some time to realize what I believe in, but in the end I realized that there really wasn't anything to realize, and that in itself, is Zen. ^__^

    Oh wow. I'm so sorry. Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever seen Wonders of The Universe on Netflix... I've always ever seen it on Science Channel. But, if you can catch it, it's well worth it. It's more existential than The Cosmos. If I see it on Netflix, I will absolutely let you know. <3

    I'd be happy too, if I had a garden. :D
    It's just one more thing that makes you incredible, Claudia. What are some of your favorite plants in your garden?

    You are always welcome, love. <3

  4. Well, I always appreciate your kind comments. They make me smile.

    Ah! Cool about the Zen philosophies. Indeed. I'll have to start calling you Aaron the Druid. heehee. I like druids.

    I completely agree with you Aaron. Those things are what make life grand. I learned that the hard way too.

    Awesome about the documentaries. I started watching the Carl Sagan one. They're pretty neat. The Earth and the Universe are so pretty.

    Oh yes! I love the cherry blossom trees, the ivy, and the tiger lilies. I'm not sure if you've seen it, but I took pictures in the springtime of the cherry and peach trees:


  5. I'm glad I can make you smile. ^__^

    "Aaron the Druid". Heh, that's fun. I like it, and I'm glad you like druids! They're my favored class in D&D. ;D

    I'm also glad we agreed on the things that make life grand, because that means you're every bit as wonderful as I thought, and not because that means I'm right, but simply that I've found someone like you. You are indeed a rare treasure in this world, Claudia. <3
    I am very interested in hearing your story sometime, but only if you're comfortable with sharing it.

    I'm glad you're enjoy Mr. Sagan's presentations. They may be old, but that's the great thing about Science. If it's correct, it never dies, and if it's wrong, it corrects itself! Hence, I was pleasantly surprised to see they included some supplemental updates from Carl himself for certain episodes.
    The Earth and the Verse are incredible, for sure. No matter what or how much of it I see, my mind just swims, and it's never enough. I wish I could go and see all the wonders they've found and experience them first hand...
    If you're really into astronomy, How The Universe Works is pretty good, too. Heh, plus it's narrated by Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs), so that's fun, too. :D

    Ah! I do remember seein a few photos of your garden, but I can't remember where they were, at the moment... But yes, I have vague recollections of how beautiful it is. Cherry trees, Ivy, and Tiger Lilies are ALL plants I love, too. Tiger Lilies especially. There are tons of them back home, and they get so bright... Love it. ^__^
    Here's a couple photos I took of some lilies back in Pa.:

    *checks your link*

    Ah, yes. It was on your Youtube channel! So stunning. I would love to live somewhere like that, too. I must say, seeing that much green makes me miss it, and the sweet smell of chlorophyll all the more. I'm happy you are surrounded by so much life. <3

    Your druid,

  6. Yes! Druids are wonderful. I played a Night Elf Druid in WoW as well. Awesome! Druid Aaron it is. :D

    Oh thank you. I'm just me. My story? Well, I am planning on doing a "Throughout the Years" series on YouTube as soon as I get my camera in order. I figured it would be interesting for others to see the path I chose. Specifically for art, if they're contemplating something similar. Or even health and lifestyle. :) So yup, it's on the to-do list, but it will be awhile still.

    Yes, I agree. They're fun and still hold up. I'm getting a kick out of how 70's they are. I love the clothing people are wearing. heehee. Me too! I want to see them too. :3

    Awesome! Yes, tiger lilies are so lovely. They remind me of my mother because she likes them too, and we have some wild ones at my parent's home in MI.

    Oh wow! Your photos are so beautiful. Those are some pretty one indeed. Green is important to have around us. That keeps us healthy. :)


  7. *nods courteously* I thank you, m'dear. <3
    Ah, WoW... I sampled it, but couldn't get into it. I'm sure it isn't a bad game, but just not really for me.
    It is agreed! I am your "Druid Aaron", as you are the first. ;D
    You ARE just you, but that is what makes you a treasure, including your modesty. I will surely look forward to those videos, when you get a chance. Just from your piece I saw on dA showing your different stages, it seems like you've gone through a lot of changes, but I know style doesn't necessarily indicate personality or experience, so I shall wait to find out the whole story! I would absolutely love to be able to help you with your camera funds, but I just can't afford it yet. One day, I'll have the money for a camera of my own, but I hope you can buy yours soon!

    Haha, yeah, the wardrobe definitely gives away the decade The Cosmos was made. :D
    Sweet! You should come with me to see the Verse! <3

    Oh yeah? You're mum must be awesome, too! Heh, I've been to Mi once to visit friends. That was a pretty crazy drive. It was very stormy most of the time, but I LOVED it. Active weather during road trips is the best!
    There was this one stretch of road near my apartment in Pa that had banks just completely stuffed with orange Tiger Lilies. So awesome, but I could never get a picture of them, because there was nowhere to pull over.

    Oh thank you, Claudia! I'm really impressed with the quality of the images my phone captures, especially the colors.
    Green is very important, at least to me, also. There is some here in the desert, but most that I've seen is in the grassy oasis with trees that fills the area between all the apartment buildings, and in the waxy native flora. I'm glad it's here, but it's never enough... Sadly, I think the green of my eyes are more vivid. ^__^'

    Your Druid,

  8. I had to play WoW for work. It was "research" required by the company. I didn't like it either, I got to my required lv. 14 and stopped. Getting paid to play wasn't bad though. :)

    Oh cool, thank you. Yeah, I'm excited about them, and I think they will be helpful. That's not a big deal at all Aaron about the camera. :) Yes, they sure are fun.

    Awesome! Do druids get to fly through space unharmed? XD heehee

    Oh really? You took those with your phone! That is impressive. I would have never guessed.

    Oh awesome! I have green eyes too with hazel centers. Rock on!


  9. Oh yeah. I've heard game testing, etc. can be both a fun job and painful... Getting paid for your time would definitely be the best part about playing a game you didn't enjoy. :D

    I WISH I could fly through space at will! That'd be amazing. Although, if I could, I'd have been gone long ago, and we wouldn't be having fun talking about it. But hey, if I find out I can, I'll be sure to let you know so you can come along. ;D

    Thanks for that! Although I'm familiar with a few photography concepts, I am far from professional. I'll have to put my Pennsylvania cloudscape photos up somewhere for you to see. The sky here in Arizona is getting cloudy for the summer rainy season, so I'm enjoying the weather.
    I love rain!

    Really? Your eyes sound amazing! I love brightly colored eyes, and studying the intricate patterns. Wish I could see for myself! ^__^


  10. Heehee. No, I should have been more clear, I'm a concept artist not a tester. I've never been a tester. Everyone at the company had to play because we were making an MMORPG. <3

    That would be awesome. That could be your special magic skill. :)

    Oh yes! I would love too see. Aww, and thanks. Yes, eyes are beautiful.


  11. Oh! Well, that's much better! Still unfortunate you were forced to play, though. But hey. you got paid. :D

    Haha, I'd love that as a feat! Gah, I wish you were nearby so we could play Pathfinder! You might like it! It's based on D&D, but it's much better than the newest, diluted edition.

    I'll have to stitch together some of the photos I took as panoramas, but yeah! I'll have to create a new category on my deviantART so you can see!

    *nods* Eyes are of my favorite things to observe. Such wondrous devices.


  12. Indeed!

    Oh cool. When you say Pathfinder, I have memories of the other old board game: http://images1.americanlisted.com/nlarge/pathfinder_board_game_10_kentwood_8759939.jpg

    That was fun too. I had it when I was a child.

    Awesome! Can't wait. :3 And yes, I agree about eyes. One of the best things to paint too.


  13. Oh wow. I've never seen that one before. Too bad you don't still have it. I would definitely be up for playing, however it works! :D
    Do you play chess...? My dad taught me basic strategies when I was little, but I haven't had an opponent in years. I get the feeling that you'd be a great player. ;D

    Druid Aaron

  14. Oh yes! Good fun indeed and good memories. My parents still have it I believe.

    I don't. So you might have me there. I like it though.



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