day one

Hey there!  Come on in, make yourself at home.

Welcome to our research project—

Mindful words: How do our stories change when we read about mindfulness?

For the minute, we’re not going to talk about mindfulness—

Hold the phone—isn’t that what this is all about?!

We’re going to ease our way in.

To those of you who have kindly agreed to participate in the project (you know who you are), I can’t thank you enough.  This research doesn’t exist without you.

To those who are regular or new visitors to unitymuse, you’re more than welcome to take this journey with us.  I can only write up so many stories in my thesis (30,000 word limit!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t read along with us.

Where are we going to go?

Who knows?!

Why we’re here

I’m an honest and open researcher.  The whole point of research is to challenge what we think we know—and discover what we don’t.

To try to make sense of the senseless and help us to navigate life, as best we can.

Mindfulness is traditionally developed through things like meditation, breathing practices, and cognitive therapies, but this research project is interested in the impact of reading for mindfulness.

Not reading in terms of the act of reading—like reading as a calming activity, a meditation.

Nor mindful reading—the act of reading in a very deliberate, focussed way.

No, this is about content.  What we’re reading, the content we’re choosing to engage with.

How does reading about mindfulness affect our state of mind(fulness)?

I hope that, through this project, we can break the barriers of what we think mindfulness is and how we can be it, not find the time to do it.

Break it down

In that spirit of honest openness (or open honesty?)—here’s the plan for the project.

intro

Today (right now!), we’re introducing the project and breaking it down.

We’ll have three days on, one day off, for the next three weeks.  Each section will have a different focus—the three elements of mindfulness and then how we bring it all together.

Participants in the project will be documenting their process—journaling, reflecting, noting what’s changing in their mind and actions (or not!).

This is about sharing the journey.

Quick disclaimer—I’m no expert.  Far (the furthest!) from it.  The things I share here are the things that have been shared with me.

Brené Brown shares with Oprah—aha! moment.

Brené and Oprah share with me (not personally—I wish!)—aha! moments (so many).

I share with you—hopefully, aha! moment.  But, maybe, ah no moment?!

The looking glass

This project is going to involve open, honest (broken record!) reflection.

Posts will include cues to reflect, which you can use as prompts for your journaling (or you can go off-road—I encourage wild exploration!).  These reflection guides will be called—

Muse views

Or Muse Clues?  Like Blue’s Clues?!

No.

Muse views

Because you are all muses and this project is about your views!

In order to see how far we travel, we need to know where we’re starting from.

Who are you today?  How are you feeling?  What’s your current life situation?

Participants, you’ve already given me your background stories, so today you can sit back and take a load off!

I’ll quickly share with you—

I’m a first-time student researcher, excited and terrified that my thesis project is finally here—if you’ve been with me a while, you’ll know it’s been a while!

I’m someone who struggles daily with self-doubt, fear, and negative self-talk—I have too many things that I want to do and end up doing nothing.  I’ve been wanting to change my life and not known how to do it (or been too afraid to?).

I’m also someone experiencing the benefits of mindfulness, and starting to overcome those challenges and [very gently!] force myself out of my comfort zone.

I‘ve no idea what we’re going to discover here.  And I wanted to share with you my insecurities, so that you know—the next three weeks aren’t about me trying to tell you what to do.

I have no status whatsoever!  Just a hunch and an unwavering interest to help make mindfulness an accessible way of life for everyone.

So, we’ll take this journey together—step out into the unknown and see what happens?!

Tomorrow, we’ll lay out what our definition of mindfulness is—it may not be what you’re expecting.

Enjoy your day.

xx