Toward the end of last year, I purchased my first plant, a mid-sized succulent, which was, as stated by the cashier, "nearly impossible to kill." I reactively bought the plant because I was experiencing internal chaos, and I wanted something to take care of, nurture, and watch grow. I was just about to launch my Holiday Cards on my Etsy, and things were getting hectic at work.
That succulent was my first of five plants, and the first one to die. I thought that because it was low-maintenance, and required minimal watering, and slight sunlight that I could check on it when I remembered. I was wrong. I wasn't careful, and I didn't pay attention to what it needed.
Attentiveness: n. the state of being constantly attentive and responsive to signs of opportunity, activity, or danger.
Attentiveness is a skill that I know well, but that I am still trying to master. Being present, and mindful to check in to when things are going well, when they aren't, and how to get back on course when needed. Along with attentiveness, are her two sisters, mindfulness and consistency. Aside from the normal stresses of adulthood, trying to effectively execute a small business, and balancing the idiosyncrasies of Cerebral Palsy, I have to make and take the time to check-in.
In my quest for mental wellness, and being present, here are a few gems I've found about attentiveness, wellness, and everything in between:
It's okay to not be okay
So often we're so focused on getting better, and being okay, that we don't focus in on when we're not. In order to truly get better, we have to acknowledge when and why we're not okay, and figure out what things we need to get better.
Be careful with yourself, and others
We are all fragile beings. Be careful with your feelings, and remember that no one knows everything. Cut yourself some slack, and give yourself space to figure things out. Make sure you extend the same grace to others.
Be present, and aware of every moment
Things change. That is the only thing that doesn't change. To be present is to be existent, to occupy space and to be responsible of the energy that you are bringing. Keeping track of every moment, will help you appreciate the goodness that life brings, and learn how to move past the bad moments.
Pay attention to the storm, and remember that they always end
Shit happens. Life sucks sometimes, and every day brings a new trial and struggle. Relationships fail, the people you love disappoint you, and you don't always get what you ask for, when you want it. That is okay. After each storm, is a fresh blue sky, and an open invitation to try again.
Protect your peace
If you don't protect your peace, and take care of your soul, no one else will. People learn how to treat you by watching how you treat yourself. Find peace, and goodness, and protect it at all cost. Find gentleness, and create the beautiful life that you wish to have. My peace looks different, depending on the day. Some days I need art, some days I need yoga, and some days I need silence.