Mindful in May and Beyond

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough.” Paying attention to what’s around us and finding peace and joy, particularly in these challenging times, has never been so important. That’s mindfulness, I’ve blogged about it many times before.

As we adjust to a new way of being, mindfulness could be described as a way of befriending ourselves and our experience and feeling into life as it is, moment by moment.

It’s the ability to stay in the present, even amid the incessant mental chatter, in a world that’s been turned on its heels. I remember another time when my world was rocked.

Back in May 2015, when my beautiful mum was battling the ill effects of brain surgery, I signed up for my first Mindful in May. At this incredibly stressful time it helped ground me and gave me some strength and coping skills.

Mindful in May is back this year. This month long global meditation challenge, founded by Dr Elise Bialylew, focuses on cultivating the power of mindfulness. With guided daily meditations, and more than ten interviews with highly respected authors, health professionals and experts in the field it’s a perfect opportunity for self exploration.

The modest registration fee goes towards providing fresh drinking water for communities in third world countries.

Navigating a wet, purpose filled path

Fast forward to 2020 and the world has never needed it more. Not just fresh water for underprivileged countries but compassion, kindness and an acceptance and willingness to just “be” without needing to understand.

So what IS mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who Elise interviews, defines mindfulness as the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non judgementally.

Or more simply, being here now, with an attitude of openness, curiosity and kindness.

What a wonderful habit to cultivate. For me personally, I’ve often struggled to incorporate consistent meditation in my life. As fate would have it, at the last minute I was gifted a registration and suddenly found myself immersed.

The Universe has a funny way of knowing what we need and delivering it to us.

I used to think that meditation was sitting and trying to block out thoughts. I now understand it’s giving ourselves the grace to allow those thoughts to come through, not fighting or resisting them, but being aware of them and then letting them go.

As well as showing up for the meditations, either early morning or at night, and listening to the audios I’m trying to incorporate mindfulness more fully into my days.

I walk every day and love being outside. It feels like a meditation as I breath in fresh air, the coolness of Autumn mornings, with the breeze on my cheeks and the occasional warmth of sunshine caressing my back.

I notice the miracles of nature, from the smallest mushroom to the grandest tree. I smell the scent of the season and hear the whispers of the breeze. When I pass other walkers we smile and I feel the kinship of humanity.

Jon Kabat-Zinn says it so well. “Life itself becomes a meditation practice, not just sitting on our butt. It’s called wakefulness.”

There’s mindfulness in movement, not just in every day walking, but in dance and music where we can let ourselves go. I’m enjoying occasional online Zumba classes with people getting together and moving in sync with the music. Sometimes that’s when I tune out the most and thoughts fade, as I lose myself in the music.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky”.

It’s when we sit still that our mind really wanders. Constantly, every second of every day. But that’s the art of being mindful.

img_3426When we notice we can bring it back to the present, gently, kindly and without judging, kind of like training a new puppy. Over and over again, cultivating gentleness and patience.

Anyone can be mindful in May and June, July and beyond, for that matter. Registrations close on 11th May but if you miss the official challenge, why not start your own practice at home.

We’re all in this together, this great big crazy ride we’re on, and we can start today to see the world in a new light.

Let’s turn fear into faith and angst into amazement.

Whilst we all want a return to normality, however that may look, we can use this gift of time to train our mind to be calm and to raise our human consciousness.

Whether you’re sitting in stillness and silence or moving mindfully, pay attention to those ordinary moments and listen deeply to the unfolding of your own life.

Let’s hope that being Mindful in May becomes the beginning of the mindset of a lifetime.

Stay well, safe and present. Life is precious, it’s not always easy but it’s a gift and it’s here to be lived.

In love and light.


Rather than be disheartened by the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it. What if we said “yes, this is the way it is: this is what it means to be human” and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride.” Pema Chodron


96 thoughts on “Mindful in May and Beyond

  1. This is a very lovely post Miriam. This ia what we indeed need at the moment.. instead being afraid and anxious and worried we should be hopeful and believe that we will be able to overcome the current pandemic.

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  2. Beautiful post Miriam. I walk with my camera everywhere and that keeps me always looking at the big picture and the tiny details. A peaceful walk in a forest today really did the trick. Best wishes. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you for sharing this Miriam, living mindfully is such a perfect antidote for so many things. In your post you say about things being ‘delivered’ just when we need them. I feel like this post was an example of exactly that. Thank you did writing and posting this, yours is a lovely soul 💜

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The uncertainty, coupled with doubts of varied size and nature, is ruling hearts and minds across the globe right now. The world of few months ago seems like a mirage now and everyone is desperately looking for an oasis, in these tough times.
    But individuals like you, Miriam, are certainly doing an impressive task of guiding tired minds and souls, which is such a big feat these days.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh Hammad, thank you for your kind words. Yes, you’re right, the world is full of fears and uncertainty but there’s also a lot of hope and feeling of newness in what’s evolving. I hope you can feel it. Take care.

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  5. What a beautiful and inspiring post, Miriam. I like what you said about being mindful not only in May, but going forward. Now, more than ever, it’s so important for us to cherish those ordinary moments. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and beautiful photos. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jill and you’re absolutely right. It’s so important to cherish those ordinary moments, not just this month but in every day as we move forward. Mindfulness and gratitude really is key. All the very best ❤️

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  6. “Let’s turn fear into faith and angst into amazement.” resonates deeply! Love the idea that money goes to provide clean water 🙂 Good luck in your endeavours Miriam ❤

    I always suggest five minutes twice a day until its a well established pattern before increasing that time. If we try to squeeze in too much time life can get in the way.

    echoes my poem 'solitary' but you've added far more detail!

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    1. Thanks so much Kate. Great advice to start with a short period of time, especially when just beginning. I’m finding fifteen minutes is working well for me at the moment. Now, I’m off to read your poem! 😊

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this post Kamal and yes, I agree. Worry and fear serves no one. Far better to strive for happiness. Stay well my friend.

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    1. I certainly hope so Brad. I see signs of it but, then again, I do feel a bit cocooned at the moment. Still, I hope we’re heading in the right direction. Take care.

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  7. Good post, Miriam! My favourite time of day at the moment is the morning walk with Scout. We smile and nod at other dog walkers and early morning types, and it’s a small but valuable connection.
    Stay safe!

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  8. I do so agree and love the message of your post. Mindfulness was a word that came quite long ago and arrived into the Western culture. We needed it badly and so many embraced it.
    I am one of them. You talk about walking, ” walking mediation” is one of the practises. I love that one too. 😊.
    We do need this very much now, to be aware of our thoughts and of each thing we are doing.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right Miriam, the concept of Mindfulness has been with us for quite a while, though I feel as though it’s more important than ever today. Enjoy your walking meditations my friend. Wishing you well. x

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  9. Hi Miriam, I agree with your opening paragraph. I have quickly learned to make sure I stay moment to moment and day to day, especially these last two months. For us, Spring is apparent everywhere we look (British Columbia.) This is the first time I have heard the concept “Mindful in May.” I have heard variations on the concept of mindfulness. I am wrapping my mind around ”non-judgementally.”

    I have also ‘attempted’ various forms of meditation over the years. I also believe “The Universe has a funny way of knowing what we need and delivering it to us.” I am part of a virtual writing group meeting each week and “meditation” is one of the topics this week. Your post is very timely.

    I am also fortunate to live near forest paths and farm areas. You likely have heard of the concept of ‘walking meditations.’ Like you say “…mindfulness in movement…”

    Many great quotes. A beautiful post! I am glad our paths crossed, Miriam. Take care. Erica

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Erica, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m glad our paths crossed too. I just re-read your About me page and can see that we have much in common in terms of appreciating the moment and being grateful for the simple things and beauty around us. Sounds like you live in a beautiful part of the world, thank goodness for our walks in nature hey.
      Yes, living day by day is the best way right now, there’s no point worrying about the future (as hard as it is sometimes). Walking meditations are a great way to just be and enjoy the moment. Take care and enjoy your virtual writing group. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Miriam, I began blogging about one and one-half years ago. I revisited my About page and it pretty well still holds true. I may update a few things in the future.

        Yes, day to day is best right now. I am trying to limit reading news sites throughout the day and especially at night before bed. I am very grateful we have access to walking outdoors. I realize different parts of our planet do not have this privilege. I look forward to staying connected.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Mindfulness in May sounds like a great initiative and I am always keen to explore direct community projects, on the ground in Third World countries. And what a wonderful thing Mindfulness is. A way to live, a way to find peace and a way to address intrusive or negative thinking. I have been practising mindfulness and meditation for several years and with practice, it becomes a rewarding experience and useful life skill.

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    1. Hi Amanda, yes aside from the benefits of a month of guided meditations, Mindfulness in May is a wonderful cause for raising money to help underprivileged communities. $50 is very little to most of us isn’t it.
      Sounds like you’re a seasoned meditator. Good for you. Definitely helpful in these uncertain times and an important life skill for sure. Happy Thursday!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I might be seasoned when it comes to attending classes and practising at home. Now that I have lost the routine of classes irl, I feel like I am slipping back. I am hoping your post reignites the urge to keep the routine going at home.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s amazing how much we thrive on that human contact, isn’t it, and the routine of regular classes. Now we have to inspire ourselves don’t we. But we can. You’ll find that spark again!

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    1. Hi Cris, glad to hear you’re enjoying this down time. I think this enforced lockdown has given many of us the chance to slow down and really get back to and enjoy the simpler things in life. Thanks for stopping by and take care. xx

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  11. “Life itself becomes a meditation practice, not just sitting on our butt. It’s called wakefulness.” Miriam, this is how I have taught myself to live. Just the little things as in teaching hubby when our cats our eating to be aware of how he walks and to do so as if in a dance or underwater …. quietly, slowly, gracefully. He tends to come crashing through which of course scares our cats. He’s learning. (smile) Picture a bull in a china shop. LOL
    I also practice moving meditations with my camera or while on walks, being in the NOW moment and nothing else. Really seeing, down to the tiniest buds. I live my life like this with everything I do. The pic I posted of myself (first one) shows my surprise. I was so focused on the NOW just washing my dishes I really had no idea hubby had sneaked up on me with his camera. My eyes even look unfocused. HUH? Where am I? Then when I realized what he was doing, I broke out in a huge grin.
    Keep on living in the present NOW as you are teaching yourself. That will in of itself become your way of living. You won’t even know you are doing it. It just will happen. I am so proud of you, Miriam. To shut the world off has become a way of life for me and let me tell you, I would not have it any other way. The bliss and flow that evolves is truly empowering. Go, Miriam!!! (((HUGS)))!! xo

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    1. Hi Amy, I’ve often wondered at the photos you take, how absolutely in tune you seem to be with nature and how effortlessly you seem to capture pics of birds etc. Makes sense when you’re really in the moment. I love the idea of moving meditations and you really do sound like you’re in the flow, in many ways. So wonderful.
      Your hub sounds a bit like mine lol, we’re chalk and cheese too in many ways. Main thing is, we all respect each other’s differences. Anyway, thanks for your lovely words Amy. Sending big hugs xxx

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  12. Thank you, Miriam! This is a lovely post reminding us to focus on the present, rather than waste time and emotional energy worrying about the future. It’s hard, but it’s all we can do at the moment. And the more we can be mindful, the easier this will be!

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    1. Yes, very true Ann. Must admit I’ve been guilty in the past of worrying too much about what the future will bring, not just for me but worrying for all my family, but I’m learning there’s no point and it’s becoming much easier these days to stay in the present. Just taking it one day at a time. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s easy to forget this when days are busy. Since my gym has been closed, I’ve been going for a neighbourhood walk every morning. I’ve been surprised by how still my mind is while I’m walking. The thoughts just disappear. It’s such a relaxing thing to do. I’ll be continuing this new habit even when the gym opens again.

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  14. Dear Miriam, I have enjoyed your lovely soothing post. “…listen deeply to the unfolding of your own life” – this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your skips (and Harry’s) among nature with us, your private little dances of joy, in recent posts. I can feel your wonder and reverence and your peace. Your photo of the white butterfly upon the flowers is special. Big hugs and love, Lily 💚🌞🌳🌿

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    1. Thanks Lily, I love that butterfly photo too, outside in my garden. So glad you enjoyed this post and coming along on our peaceful ambles. I’m feeling particularly tired today, having woken up at the crack of dawn this morning and walked 9000 steps by 9am! I think I overdid it and both Harry and I are feeling the effects tonight. Have a wonderful weekend my friend. Big hugs and love to you. xx 🍂🦋💕

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  15. A great post Miriam, and a great idea. I used to go to meditation classes but eventually my stress-related tinnitus got so bad that I can’t sit in a silent room any more. But I find that drawing helps me hugely – because it absorbs me completely.

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    1. That’s great! The drawing, not the tinnitus (I get that too and it’s not pleasant). I guess whatever helps us tune out and into ourselves is a good thing. Take care Darren.

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  16. Hi Miriam, I tried Mindful in May a couple of years ago however found it quite difficult with the meditations. I obviously was not ready for it but have realised that during meditation if our minds wander that is okay, we just bring it back. Being Mindful unfortunately, has become a bit of a ‘buzz’ word but I do believe in it strongly. Living in the moment, taking time to appreciate and just ‘being’ is so important for our mental health and well being. A lovely post and I think I will now walk onto my balcony and just watch the ocean. xx

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    1. Thanks Sue. Perhaps ‘mindfulness’ has become a buzz word but I think more and more people are tuning into the concept now so that’s gotta be a good thing. I remember when you did MiM, and you’re right, perhaps it just wasn’t the right time. But now, well it sounds like that ocean is calling you. Enjoy and have a great weekend Sue. xx

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  17. Lovely post, Miriam! Interestingly, today somebody read a few of my older posts and I always like to re-read them to see what I wrote about and one spoke about mindfulness. It feels like I am being reminded to notice the daily miracles and as you share, there are plenty to find, from that smallest mushroom to the grandest tree. Mindful May sounds like it will be a wonderful experience. Enjoy!! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy. Isn’t it wonderful when we’re reminded of what we’ve written in the past and what’s important right now. I guess that’s one of the blessings of blogging, it’s like an online journal we can revisit time and time again. I hope you’re having a happy and peaceful month, as I am. Take care. xx

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  18. Lovely post and so timely. I used to get cross when walking around the suburbs as no one would answer my g’day like they do in the country. Now, thanks to the virus everyone says g’day, they smile, they laugh, they wave and apologise for crossing the road. Good things do come from bad.

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  19. Wonderful words Miriam. In these strange and turbulent times we all need to take time to appreciate what we have and where we are. Just taking time at various moments throughout the day to relax and see the world around you is so worthwhile. Great post.

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  20. “I notice the miracles of nature, from the smallest mushroom to the grandest tree. I smell the scent of the season and hear the whispers of the breeze. When I pass other walkers we smile and I feel the kinship of humanity.” Absolutely beautiful, Miriam. First time visitor here but this was a breath of fresh air. I feel the exact same way as I go on trails.

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  21. Thank you Miriam. I do my meditation in motion by walking and running. It definitely changes the way I experience the world when I tune into life as a miracle.
    I will look into the Mindful In May link. I appreciate your gentle reminders and support.
    Be well,
    Ali

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  22. Great post Miriam, I think at the moment nature is our best friend that brings out the best within us. Offers us peace and tranquility and a break from the chatter in our minds. The beauty in nature is a welcome distraction, coupled with mindfulness is the food we need right Now that feeds our Soul💚🌿
    We should teach mindfulness and meditation, out in nature in our schools…that’s a thought I love to have and who know some day soon we may be doing just that. Sending blessings🌟💚🌟

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    1. How interesting that you mention that Zoey. I was listening to an interview this morning (part of the Mindful in May programme) and he mentioned that very same thing. Something for the future perhaps. Thanks for your lovely comment. Nature is indeed our best friend at the moment. Sending big hugs and blessings your way. 💐🙏😍

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  23. What a wonderful post Miriam, made even more pleasant as I read your thoughts I am listening to your music on soundcloud.
    Mindful in May what a beautiful project..
    And yes meditation is far from clearing our mind, but rather listening, embracing and letting go…

    Walks and my connection to our Earth Mother is something I could not easily live without, so I am very thankful during these strange times I have had my refuge of my garden to climb into and get my hands dirty..

    I feel this is helping people be more Mindful, as people at least here within my own neighbours and community are caring and sharing, and the energy is beautiful to see.

    So if out of all of this we become more mindful and find our harmonic balance, I feel what we are all struggling through right now, we may look back in the future and note that this was the turning point where Humanity did become More Mindful and Caring of Each Other..
    I Hope and pray so..

    Sending love dear Miriam, and loved your selection of songs you were singing.. ❤ 🙏

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    1. Hi Sue, great to see you here and how nice to know you were listening to my music at the same time.
      I think you’re right about this being a mindful time. I’m finding in my local community such a feeling of unity and kinship, an attitude of togetherness even though we’re separate. It’s heartening.
      Like you I hope when we emerge from this time we’ll be more caring, more appreciative and more mindful of everything and everyone. Keep enjoying your garden and your walks. Wishing you well my friend. xx

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  24. Yes, it’s like training a puppy, “pay attention to those ordinary moments and listen deeply to the unfolding of your own life.” Love this thought in the journey to wakefulness. Uplifting post, Miriam. ❤

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  25. I agree with every word Miriam! I have been relaxing into it and finding wonderful positives in it too, like more walks and weather kind enough to eat outdoors even if it means wearing a jacket!

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  26. Thank you for your beautiful post, Miriam. I agree that meditation is essential to our core. Since I’m retired and don’t have to rush to work, I take advantage of my morning time. I like to take time to reflect in the morning and not to rush into the daily business. I’ll check out Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books. Hes has quite a few on Amazon.

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    1. Oh, that’s wonderful Miriam. It’s been such a worthwhile program to be part of, hopefully my practice will extend way beyond May. Your mornings sound peaceful. Enjoy Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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