This Christmas my sister, Jenny, gave me an excellent little surprise that has inspired a long moment of reflection.
The gift is a little Kikki K notebook called A Sentence a Day.
There are 365 pages, each page has a space for three entries, making it a three year journal, and each page has a little prompt for you to respond to.
A few examples of the prompts are:
What’s your advice for a broken heart?
I can’t get enough of…
Who is missing from your life?
What motivated you today?
What surprised you today?
They range from the trivial to the profound and everything in between.
The thought that motivated this post was yesterday’s entry:
What kind of person do you want to be?
There are a plethora of ways to find out who the hell you are. Chinese, Vedic and Western Astrology, Myer Briggs, Psychometrics, even colour tests and animal tests – my workplace has subjected us to several of these under the guise of team building and improved collaboration across teams. And loathe as I am to say it, I wholly identify with being ENTP.
They tell us in great detail (and conviction) who we are, our qualities, our traits, in what ways we’re likely to respond to situations, how we behave romantically, other personality types or categories of people we work well with or connect with and some even drill down to our sexual proclivities!
While they are all have different foundations and use different mapping techniques, the thing they do have in common is the notion that we are, to a high degree, fixed.
To be fair, whenever I have been profiled, I have either read or been told ‘this is only an indication of what you might be like and how likely you are to respond in a specific way’. But I get the feeling that it’s more of a safeguard or disclaimer in case you don’t relate to your profile.
When I read the journal prompt, my favourite quote popped into my mind… ‘as we think, so we become’. It’s an extract from the larger text below in the Dhammapada.
The thought manifests as the word
The word manifests as the deed
The deed develops into habit
Habit hardens into character
So watch the thought and its ways with care
And let it spring out of love
Born out of concern for all beings
As the shadow follows the body as we think,
So we become…
In essence, watch out for your mind it could very well lead you to be a rotten egg.
The term mindfulness has been cropping up around me a lot lately and noticing, I’d made several mental notes to take a moment and think about what the sentiment means in practical terms for me in this slice of time in my life. When I read ‘what kind of person do you want to be’ – I couldn’t help grinning in thanks to the Universe for forcing me to act on my mental note!
I’m pretty clear on the kind of person I am – the good and not so great – and I’m generally happy with what (nearly) 36 years of ups, downs and plateaus has carved me into. But like most things, I can be improved.
I have five characteristics I’d like to be able to say also make up who I am. This is where I’ll direct my mindfulness this year and here’s hoping when this page in my journal comes around again in 2015 I will have new words to work on!
- Self disciplined
Do you have bits you want to be mindful about? Love to hear them!
A big thanks to my sister, Jen. No doubt she will soon benefit from my improved punctuality 🙂
PS: check out her blog if you’re into Eating, Drinking, and DIYing.