Mine was HUGE. And yes, I’m writing about lost socks. Just hang with me here; there’s a point.

I had to face reality: The other ones were never coming back.

It was ridiculous. They weren’t my socks (singles), but some of Daniel’s and mostly our six little friend’s socks.

This has been going on for years. It starts small. We save a few, thinking the match will find its way to the laundry room within a few days. But weeks go by. Then months. And then we’re used to that crazy pile that takes up so much room that we can’t even fold anything on the counter because it has been taken over by single socks.

I went into the laundry room this afternoon with fresh eyes. Present moment awareness. And something told me to just throw them all away.

Yee-haw! It felt great.

It looks so much better now as a gallery of the latest art to come home from school.

So much happier!

So, do you have any piles of stuff lying around taking up space? Ever think that stuff is a metaphor for lack of clarity and awareness in our minds?

As we become blind to the clutter surrounding us, so too we continue with habitual patterns of unawareness and lack of appreciation for each passing moment. And that’s all we have.

Another perspective is that we cling or hold on to stuff—whether it’s to socks, clothes, paperwork, objects, or even a person, an idea—out of fear or insecurity.

Perhaps it’s a bit of both. But the good news is that we can wake up and start living, no matter our age or circumstance.

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. —Henry David ThoreauWalden

Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice which has profound relevance for our present-day lives. …Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally. This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, clarity, and acceptance of present-moment reality. It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments. If we are not full present for many of those moments, we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives but also fail to realize the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth and transformation.

I like to think of mindfulness simply as the art of conscious living. You don’t have to be a Buddhist or a yogi to practice it. In fact, if you know anything about Buddhism, you will know that the most important point is to be yourself and not try to become anything that you are not already. Buddhism is fundamentally about being in touch with your own deepest nature and letting it flow out of you unimpeded. It has to do with waking up and seeing things as they are. In fact, the word “Buddha” simply means one who has awakened to his or her own true nature. —Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

Confession: I have a healthy crush on Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Jon Kabat-Zinn (source: Wikipedia)

I’m trying to live in the present moment, but it’s hard not to wish I had his books when starting out as a parent twelve years ago. Chapter titles like “Cleaning the Stove While Listening to Bobby McFerrin” show his sense of humor and listening to his Wherever You Go, There You Are on CD bring me to my calm, appreciative, and pleasantly alert place.

Maybe you’ll find some clarity of your own today. I hope so. If not today, soon.

I’d love to hear your reflections on mindfulness, any struggles, and what works for you.