Sunday, 10 November 2013

Week 46: Values and the Search for Answers.

As I venture into week 46 of my 52 week mindfulness challenge, I find myself questioning a few things. A conversation with a beautiful friend last night got me to thinking about how my values impact what I do, how I react, what I prioritise and how I see my own thoughts and actions.

I'm trying to think of a good way to describe what I'm thinking, but struggling. Maybe an example will help!

Over the year, one of the things I've been trying (and struggling) to get a handle on is my apparent addiction to social media. I check into Facebook and emails a lot. Partly because I like to connect with my friends, partly because I like to find new recipes and ideas, and partly because I just feel like I have to (very good sign of an addiction there).

I know this habit of mine is worse since becoming a mum, but I don't know if this behaviour is being used to fill the relative void of adult interaction in my life (hard to believe when I actually have a lot of contact with adults every day!), to distract me from whatever fears I have of not being a good enough mum, or something else entirely.

And I don't think the checking, reading and interacting is a bad thing. Not at all. I think it's good for me ... at least if I use it wisely. The thing that still bothers me is the frequency of my checking, the apparently uncontrollable urge that this takes, and the fact that my son already (at 19 months old) knows that mummy's phone is always nearby. I don't want him to grow up thinking that checking into social media umpteen times a day is normal (even if it is!). I want to foster mindfulness in him as he learns and grows, so maybe I could be setting a better example.

This is where the values stuff comes in. I'm starting to feel as though my behaviour simply doesn't match my values, which is maybe why I feel so uncomfortable about the whole thing (and why I struggle to find the right words to describe it).

Where am I going with all this? Well, this week I want to spend some time thinking, contemplating, assessing. I want to consider what my values are and how they translate to my actions and reactions. I want to see if I can find a way to align them better, to feel as though I'm living in a way that feels like a good fit. I have no intention of signing off of social media as a result - absolutely not. But maybe I'll find myself choosing my times more wisely.

I want to be perfectly clear here that I'm not making a judgement call about when anyone else uses their phone or checks in with social media around their children. I'm the last person to suggest I know what's right/best/good/bad. I just know how I feel about my own life and this is where I'm at right now!

So I'll be off contemplating this week ... digging to work out what my values are and how they can lead me to a more mindful life.

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