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.


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! 

Happy places

Wooden walkway leading to the beach & oceanWhy the beach theme for my blog?

Because it’s my happy place. We all have one that serve as a refuge from life’s chaos. It’s where I go to escape, quiet my mind, and rejuvenate.

Unfortunately, the ones closest to me aren’t the sand and shell type that we associate with the word “beach.” They’re the dirt and rock type that line freshwater rivers and lakes.  As if that’s not sad enough, the local beaches are currently buried in dirty snow and ice.

I live too far from the coast and don’t get to my happy place nearly enough.

So, the escape must be to my blog, of which has been sorely neglected since I published my first post a couple of months ago. Two deaths in the family and preparations for a trip to Washington D.C. have derailed my commitment to regular writing sessions. One of the hardest parts of writing (and dieting, exercising, etc.) is doing it on a regular basis. Why is it so hard to find time to do the things that are good for us?

However, I’m going to focus on the positives: I’ve kept up with it all, met the deadlines, and filed my taxes. I’m now sitting at the computer to write, so I’m feeling hopeful once again!

Before I sat down to create the blog, I knew it would have a beach theme. I had been contemplating a name, because I believe that’s a very important aspect. When I visited the library as a youngster, I would meander up and down the shelves searching for a title that piqued my interest. I do the same thing when I’m perusing the WordPress blogs. Of course, I search for topics of interest, but then narrow down the choices by titles; interesting titles.

I first heard the term following sea in the Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Southern Cross.” In boating, a following sea refers to a wave direction that matches the heading of the boat. For example, if the waves are heading in the same direction as the sailor, then the water is “following” the sailor’s boat (courtesy of Wikipedia.) This makes sailing much smoother and is one half of the expression “fair winds and following seas.”

This is often used in toasts and to commemorate a new voyage, among other things. I liked the analogy between how the circumstances and people who make up one’s life, can often help create either calm or rough waters. Life is a voyage, full of choices that either encourage or discourage a following sea.

I also wanted to follow-up the title with a tagline; something to complement the purpose of the blog. In keeping with the ocean theme I settled on “Navigating Your Best Life.” I’m a middle-aged woman, divorced, newly graduated and facing choices about how I want to spend the rest of my life.

I want to share my experiences and write about things that other folks my age are dealing with: aging parents, career changes, relocation, menopause, relationships, and a host of other issues. Maybe I can offer something that will be helpful or resonate with someone else. At least I can purge all my emotions and thoughts on paper or, in this case, a computer monitor!

Everyone desires a happy life, whatever that means to each of us. But, it takes a lot of work and sacrifice, not to mention all the things that impact us, both positively AND negatively. It’s not linear and involves careful navigation in every decision we make.


Lastly, I chose my own photos for the blog. For me it’s a visual analogy. Like the changes in our daily lives, the rise and fall of the tides bring daily changes to the beach. The seashells, unique in their differences, signify the people in our lives. Various types of objects and debris wash ashore each day, some beautiful and others not so much.

All of these components set the tone for my blog and make it a place I enjoy coming back to again and again, just like I enjoy returning to the beach!