Monday Mindfulness: My New Meme

English: Mindfulness Activities
Mindfulness Activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been tossing around the idea of a themed Monday post. Mindfulness is something I’ve been practicing since my second pregnancy; many nights staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m. pushed me into meditation which is closely related. Essentially the two together ask us to focus; bring 100% of our attention into the moment. The scratchy sheet, the clicking of the clock. Surprisingly these tiny sounds make it easier to forget about the laundry, grading, or editing and usher in deep, relaxing sleep.

Here’s my first Monday Mindfulness post. Share your ideas for how to take a break from our continuous inattention.

I have a long overdue to-do list because of a weekend spent, well, weekending with family, friends, and children. Instead of multitasking, I was at the playground. Skipping late nights at the kitchen table, I went to sleep along with everyone else.

And while I was rushing around this morning, after a morning workout (check), the younger one, 10 months old was at the edge of my vision. He was rolling around in his walker, standing on the tips of his toes, gurgling at me with his energy.

I rushed into the kitchen for juice and a snack.

When I came out, he was dashing like a ping-pong ball around the living room, he was a caged specimen of enthusiasm, blocked from the clothes drying on the rack, barricaded from the wires on the television speakers.

We made eye contact; and he smiled. The connection was like a sizzle. I still had 1000 things to do; most of them overdue, many of them related to the release of my next book, furthering my academic career, applications for older brother’s school. But in that moment, since older brother was at nursery, I popped out some toys the younger one rarely gets to touch when Mr. 3 year old is around.

Foam shapes, a fabric tunnel, cushions squares for the floor. The little guy went wild. Dolphin like sounds of delight emanated as he crawled on through, rolling the tunnel this way and that. I watched him for a minute and took a mental picture of his joy. This, I thought to myself, this is happiness. This is what I will remember the next time I start to wonder what any of this is for.

Do you ever wonder what moments will flash before your eyes in the last seconds of your life? If, like in the movies, we get a lightening quick film strip of our lives, I hope mine is full of instants like these. For so a life is made, shared and remembered. Not from a to-do list.

That’s my Monday Mindfulness; you don’t have to take an entire afternoon to make memories. Make them in the flashes in between a workout and computer time.

How do you stay mindful?

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Inside the Writer's Studio with Rachel Thompson

There was a woman on Twitter who amazed me with her followership (then 16,000) and also her humor. Her #TellmeTuesday meme she had going kept me turning over ideas in my head for something to write each week. When I saw she was talking social media clients, other indie authors like me, and helping them figure out the Internet jungle, I jumped at the chance to work with Rachel Thompson.

rachel-1-1We did everything from a blog overhaul to keywords for my books on Now she has over 139,000 followers and a new book out, Broken Pieces. No stopping this woman. We had great fun in the Writer’s Studio this week. Here’s what she had to say about her ideal place to live, where she works, and why you need a brand.

How would you describe your writing persona in 5 words or less? Mining experiences for universal truths.

Describe yourself in one sentence I’m a passionate yet introspective person who writes about the things most people try to forget.

Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? London.

Did you have support for your decision to be a writer? I wanted to write starting at age ten and my folks were great about it. As an adult, my husband supported it (and still does) but the practical things suffer: housework, appointments, etc,. and my kids don’t understand why I have to shut my door.

Do you read reviews written about your work? Yes. I’ve learned (from my many years as a sales and marketing rep) not to take anything people say personally and always look for ways to learn or improve.

What’s your creative process? I’m fascinated by the human condition so I’m always thinking about an experience or story I’ve read and figuring out a way to write about it.

Where do you write? I have a MacBook Air and I love it. I write in an office, though many times, when I’m with my kids, I’m writing wherever they are.

Do you have a day job? I started my own business in 2011 – – to help authors learn what I’ve learned about social media and book marketing.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? Ignore everyone else and just sit down and write. We all have our own style. Trust your vision. Once you’ve got it down, then work with professionals: editor, proofreader, graphic artist, formatter, marketing consultant. Focus on the writing, first and foremost.

Rachel breaks down some key terms the online author needs to know.

Meme: (rhymes with ‘theme). A meme is a theme, basically. Participate in writer and reader centric memes to connect with your audience (i.e., #MondayBlogs, #TagItTuesday, #WriterWednesday) etc. I also started the @MondayBlogs stream so people can share their latest post and retweet others that day (though you can post any day of the week – just use the #MondayBlogs hashtag and/or cc me at @MondayBlogs) and I’ll retweet you.

Branding: Figure out the main keywords you use and make those consistent across all channels of your author platform. We as humans are naturally drawn to the topics we write about. For example, I write about women and men, love and loss, relationships and sex. Therefore, I tweet about those subjects, blog on them, share information from others about them, as well as promoting my own work.


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