Mindlessness vs. Mindfulness

Lent is here, aaaaack! As Ash Wednesday begins the 40-day Lenten journey to Easter, we forage into fasting & abstinence (all the things we mean to give up, must give up, try to give up?) But Lent is about more than just giving up chocolate and chips, it’s about drawing closer to God in a deeper way, opening up the closets of our lives to a cleaning out of the rubble & a bit of Heavenly restoration.

May hurt, a bit, but some stuff’s gotta’ go, ‘ya know?

My Lenten fast actually began last week. Noticing several pairs of pants seemingly shrank (!!) I stepped onto the scales. Ooops. Back to the virtuous vegan path (winter munchies now patrolled with stringent intent.)

Which brings me to this mantra: mindful or mindless? A good question, not just about Lenten food intake but something to consider in other parts of our lives. Are we mindful of what we’re eating, or just mindlessly eating more? (‘Til the bag is gone.) Are we mindful of what we’re putting into our heads (& hearts), or just mindlessly letting the next Netflix episode binge-us-over?

“So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)

Just ‘saying. Mindful vs. Mindless. I can mindlessly take a whole bag of chips (or tin of ‘healthy nuts’) in with me whilst watching something exciting, or I can mindfully measure out a few into a small bowl to savor one at a time.

Are we making choices mindfully – thinking about them, a bit? (Not obsessing, but at least taking a sec to reflect?) Or, are we mindlessly allowing our next whatevers to be, whatever? (As in, unduly influenced by others, just doing whatever it is unthinkingly?)

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”  (I Corinthians 3:16-17)

Before the onset of his quadriplegia, my Papa loved to jog miles and miles. When we were little, my brother & I counted his laps up & down the boardwalk in Va. Beach. Papa called his jogging Temple Maintenance: he had that emblazoned on the back of his bright 1970s yellow jogging suit.

Lent is an opportunity for us to engage in a little Temple Maintenance: outside & inside. To discipline external muscles & strengthen internal faith muscles. Maybe clean out our musty mind closets? Let our spiritual lives get a new paint job? (The sanding may hurt a bit, but what fun to see what new colors God can swirl in us?)

And so, it begins. Will our Lenten journeys include mindful Temple Maintenance, or will we mindlessly keep munching (whole bags) of chips?

grace, peace & mindfulness

Virginia : )

p.s. It’s Ash Wednesday AND Valentine’s Day! Here’s a favorite quote that combines the two in an amazing way.

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, in falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.  It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. 

Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”   Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

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16 Responses to Mindlessness vs. Mindfulness

  1. Cindy Kranich says:

    Very honest and convicting blog … awesome & encouraging quote at the end❣️

    • Virginia says:

      One of my fav quotes, Cin. Started giving up chips & sugar last week – & CHEESE. Somehow I let it creep in after the holidays (!) & ‘Volumptious VA’ is back! aaaak! Lots of 💜🌷💜! Gin

  2. Carol-Jo says:

    Wow, Virginia
    Thank you so much to think about..

    • Virginia says:

      Sometimes my Temple Maintenance is a battle, Carol-Jo – I so like chips! There’s nothing wrong with eating chips (even healthy vegan ones) – it’s the ‘how’ that matters & why mindful vs. mindless is my new mantra when I take them out & meaure them into a cup. oi vey – not easy! Chips are much quicker to eat than making a salad – but mindfully taking time to prepare fresh veggies, I feel better after eating them. Lots of 💜🌷💜!

  3. Debbie says:

    “Temple Maintenance.” I love that, Virginia! We, like our cars, need a periodic tune-up. Lent and Advent are two good times for that. And how cool that Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day happened to fall on the same day this year!

    • Virginia says:

      Ash Wednesday & Valentines coinciding made for one challenge, Debbie – I had to eat up all my chocolates Tuesday night! Hope this Lenten season will allow us to tune-in to God’s grooves so we can be tuned-up with agape love for all we encounter. Blessings! ✨🌟💜🌟✨

  4. My Carmel says:

    Thank you so much for this insightful reflection Virginia…wishing you a reflective and a blessed Lenten season! ❤

  5. Sparkyjen says:

    Personally, I’m in love with life. I get up because I am blessed to be able to. Thank you Dear Father!

  6. What an inspiring post-so very beautiful. The quote was excellent, and true! thank you,

  7. TMH says:

    Love the Temple Maintenance label! Your dad strikes me as a guy with a pleasant balance of humor and perspective. Having to catch up on your words and thoughts. For some reason, I’m not getting the email notices of your posts. Someone at Google isn’t being very mindful…

    • Virginia says:

      Gotta’ watch out for those Google-gremlins! My Papa had a great sense of humor – and he put many miles with those 1970s fluorescent ‘Temple Maintenance’ jogging suits! 😎

  8. So apropos for Lent… I actually for some time didn’t concern myself so much with doing away with certain food etc. but really have ‘tried’ to really think on thing that I feel God is more concerned with as far as my character and faith… I actually did though believe that I need to try to spend more time in reading the Bible.. I fall short in that area lately… Diane

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