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365 Days of Writing Prompts: Day 19

January 19, 2016

Apply yourself

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not
come easily to you.

I’ve got about 20 years of what my dad calls “book learnin'” under my belt. That was all easy compared to learning Mindfulness. The hardest part is staying present in every moment. It’s a daily reminder that there is no past nor a future. All we have is here and now.

I am an emotional poet. My poetry has fed off of my tormented life for decades. Not to toot my own horn, mainly because I don’t even have one, but I am known for my dark, depressed, raw and often melancholy poetry. Happy poetry just isn’t really in me. So how does one stay present and still write that kind of poetry? Or a better question would be, how does one write that kind of poetry while not tapping into a painful past?

Therein lies the crux and why learning Mindfulness is so hard, at least for me. I enjoy writing the kind of poetry I write. It isn’t just therapy for me. I know it helps others too. Some would say that happy poetry helps people, and while I agree, that just isn’t what I want to write. So what to do, what to do?

When I am in poetry mode and Catharine is about, I turn off Mindfulness training. I know, it sounds a bit hypocritical to turn off a system that has helped me heal, but if I really want to make a statement with my poetry and help others, then something has to go. Unfortunately it is Mindfulness. I am sure some Zen Master out there would tell me that I am holding on to a crutch, holding on to my pain to drive my poetry, and he or she would be right. And maybe in another ten years I will be able to fully let go of my pain and become a true follower of Mindfulness.

I am mindful of other things: eating, grooming, walking, meditating, even keeping better track of time. I am just not ready to let go of my poetic style yet. And this is why Mindfulness is the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to learn.

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