Living a Mindful Life: Creating Reminders for Mindfulness

Desk Buddha

This adorable meditating Buddha sits right by my computer as I blog, calling me back to the present moment.

Mindfulness is one of those things that sounds so easy.  Just pay attention? No problem! Live in the moment? Done! Breathe? I do that all the time!

But it can actually be a quite a challenge, especially for left-brain Buddhas who like to engage and live in their minds.  Just the other day, as I walked to my car after work, another colleague walked past me, going back toward the building. “I was so busy thinking I walked right past my car!” she said.  We do that a lot, don’t we? We get so caught up in our thoughts that we walk right past our own lives.

That’s why I have created mindfulness reminders for myself.  Little tokens, or decorations, or moments of my day that serve as calls to mindfulness.

Mindful LifeThich Nhat Hanh, in Peace is Every Step, explains that he makes the ringing of the telephone a bell-sound for mindfulness.  Before answering, he tells himself, “Listen, listen. This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.” Well, I don’t know about you, but these days, my phone rarely actually rings… but I am using it quite frequently.  I used the image from this Living a Mindful Life series as the wallpaper for my phone, so each time I turn to my phone, the flower reminds me to breathe and return to the present moment.  Given how attached we are to our phones, think how many times a day we can call ourselves to mindfulness!

Keychain

In my post about discovering the call to mindfulness, I wrote about my forgetfulness in the mornings when I would forget to wave to my dear children as I drove off to work.  To create a call-to-mindfulness reminder for myself when I get into my car, I purchased this Buddha medallion {actually a necklace} to use as a keychain.  {The crab next to the Buddha is from our family vacation in Mexico last winter, which reminds me of entire days spent simply enjoying the present moment!}

I have also placed several reminders for mindfulness throughout my home ~ decorations and signs that call me back to my true self. Ready for a quick tour? :)

My Mindful House Tour!

We transformed our living room into what we call the Study ~ where my husband and I work, blog, and read.  The image below is the main wall in the Study and the first thing you see when you enter our house.  Even though they are mass-produced decorations from Kohl’s, they remind me to laugh, and represent many things I love in life ~ Europe {the crown and the fleur-de-lis}, words, and music:

Study Wall

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Our family last name is Beach, so this decor purchase was a no-brainer!  It greets me every day when I enter through the garage entrance to the house.  You can’t go wrong with “Smile. Giggle. Play”:

Beach Rules

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These are actually Christmas tree ornaments that I purchased this year, and then decided to hang above my kitchen sink.  So if I’m trying to mindfully wash dishes, these are a helpful reminder:

Kitchen Decor

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This decor sits on the fireplace mantle in our family room, right next to the chair where I sit in meditation:

Serenity

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This zen garden sits on my desk in the study. It reminds me to pause and breathe:

zen garden

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This Buddha statue stands in our garden ~ a reminder to see the beauty that’s literally in our own backyard!

My wonderful husband bought me this Buddha today to decorate our garden - love it!

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Finally, I just discovered these badges and printable pdf’s from Brene Brown ~ I’ve printed her Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto and posted it in our kitchen to remind me to parent with courage, authenticity, compassion, love and joy!

Do you have decorations or reminders in your home to call you to mindfulness?

You can find the rest of the articles in the Living a Mindful Life series here.

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Sarah Rudell Beach

Sarah is a writer, teacher, and mother. At Left Brain Buddha, she writes about her journey to live and parent mindfully, joyfully, and thought-fully in her left-brain analytical life. When not working, she enjoys dancing, reading, and hanging out with her little Buddhas.
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Comments

  1. I absolutely love the “Beach Rules” sign! Perfect!
    I am a freak about photos. I have pictures of family and friends on every surface of my house! I am so thankful for the people in my life and the pictures remind me to nurture those relationships.

    • I have pictures everywhere, too. The trick for me is to move them around once in a while so I actually notice them and they don’t just become part of the scenery!

  2. Great idea!

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