A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal | Mindfulness

ThemeRevealIt’s that time of year again… for the A to Z Challenge!

For those of you new to blogging this is an annual event held every April and challenges us to write daily during the month.

The letters of the alphabet correspond with the days of the month: A with April 1st, B with April 2nd, and so on. Sundays are days off and not included in the schedule. 

The challenge is to write thematically to the day’s letter. There’s plenty of flexibility and room for creativity!  See all the details and sign up here.


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I attempted it last year, but stopped at letter G when my beloved kitty suddenly became ill with feline leukemia virus. I discovered that she had it when I adopted her and because there is no cure, I swore I wouldn’t let her suffer. So, within two days of the positive test results I took her back to the vet and said goodbye. My heart was broken and the desire to write was gone. 

My post for the letter G was already written and published. It talked about the importance of Goals. Knowing that I wouldn’t finish the challenge I wrote a second G post about Grief. And that’s all I felt for a long time.


My overarching theme last year was Intentional Living. This year I’ve decided on Mindfulness. While there is some overlap between the two, intentional living is any lifestyle based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs.

The definition for mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

I’ll write about subjects that correspond with the definition and practice of mindfulness, since that is the overall theme of my blog.


If you’re looking for a way to blog more regularly and need some prompts and/or inspiration, the A to Z Challenge might be just the ticket! 

Who is Your Kindness Role Model?

Inspiring Life.pngDear Grandma,

As an exercise in recognizing people who inspire kindness, I decided to write a letter to a role model and immediately thought of you.

Your 4 ft. 8 in. frame belied the giant that you truly were. For the 36 years that we spent together, your spirit of generosity and sacrifice never ceased to amaze me. 

As far back as I can remember, you were the happiest when giving to others. Whether it was financial assistance or help of some other kind, you were the first to step up and offer. Your Christian faith and love for God motivated your charitable nature.

I also remember what a hard worker you were. With only a sixth-grade education you had to leave school and go to work as domestic help for more well-to-do households. The money you earned was turned over to your parents to help with expenses for a large, but impoverished German family.

Elderly HandsREV

You cleaned, scrubbed, and provided childcare for others and then came home and did some more. You ran errands that involved walking long distances in all kinds of weather. You had to grow up before your time and missed out on the joys of being a kid.

This kind of menial labor continued until you retired at 65. 

Your hands were the reflection of this lifetime of hard work. No smooth, soft skin or manicured nails. No jewelry. Just rough-hewn palms and translucent skin, mottled with age spots and a lacework of veins.  

I recall these hands clearly. Smallish, yet capable of so much. From kneading floured dough to fixing my broken toys to pointing out the Bible verses as I followed along.

You didn’t earn much money but managed to save most of it. You lived simply and wasted nothing, repurposing long before it became fashionable. Clothes and cars were second-hand, but your treatment of others was first-rate. You had very little in the way of material possessions, yet you wanted for nothing.

Despite the many hardships you never became bitter. It’s easy to show kindness and generosity when life has been good. But, it’s not as simple when life has been harsh. We tend to look at others and wonder why we don’t have the same opportunities. 

Gratitude

I never heard you complain about any aspect of your life. Your attitude of gratitude was nothing short of amazing, which is why I consider you a true role model.

I’ve learned to appreciate the basic necessities of life without always wanting something more. You taught me this. I feel sorry for those who define themselves by their material possessions. You explained that they’re trying to fill up the emptiness inside and even the best, most luxurious brands can’t do that.

You always took pride in your work and reminded me that no matter what the job is we should always do our best. 

Your advice was to try to help others whenever possible and always with a smile. I may not be able to give in large ways, but I try to give in a lot of small ways.

The lessons in kindness, generosity, and humility that you always taught by example shaped the very best parts of me and I’ll be forever grateful…thankful for your love and all that you gave with such a caring heart.

I miss you a lot and hope that you’re proud of my efforts as a daughter, mother, and friend. I try to give my best to all the people in my life, just as you did in yours.

With much love & gratitude…xoxoxo


Revised & reposted from 2017