Mindfulness Moment: Reading A Delicious Book Until 3 AM

OK, I’m not entirely sure if this counts as mindfulness, since I was lost in the realm of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and was not technically in the here and now of the real world, BUT I’m going to count it anyways. And also, if I may loosely and tenuously connect this back to mindfulness, we did do an exercise in group about focusing on simple awareness of sensations  as a mindfulness practice ( I see, I hear, I want, etc.) and last night I was mindfully aware that I wanted to keep reading! 🙂 AND, I am searching to retrieve my inner-Katniss, as you all know. There! It’s relevant.

I used to do this all the time as a kid, not caring about tomorrow and just letting myself stay locked in this other world the author has captured on paper, sneaking the book back out after I was sure my folks had gone to sleep and would not notice the light from my room seeping out from under the door. Oh, the days of Harry Potter! Maybe it sounds strange to you (or maybe you can relate), but a good story would put me on cloud nine for days, contaminating my real life with magic and adventure.  Even when I had put the book down, the writing invaded my dreams and my daily thoughts. I would get to school and encounter a situation, finding comfort in thinking about how the latest protagonist I had met might handle things. I was a very fanciful kid and an only child, so each knew character became a sort of invisible companion for me. I remember feeling  less alone with a good book.

Then came highschool, college, and now grad school and work. And of course,  OCD has selfishly taken center stage as much as possible in my life. Not much time and energy anymore to devour book after book (unless it is a textbook). Staying up until you’ve officially entered the next day is unthinkable, for most days. Reading for adventure has become that thing you keep meaning to cross off your summer bucket list. I have not read like this since I was a child, and it feels pretty awesome! I know it won’t last long, but I’ll just enjoy and be present in my reading of The Hunger Games. Because while I’m lost in Panem rooting for Katniss, I don’t have a worry in the world and OCD/Jiminy isn’t with me in my travels.

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.   – Neil Gaiman, Coraline



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