20 Mindful Experiences

Posted on: December 18th, 2015 by

The holidays are wonderful, but all too often our society is so caught up by decorations and gift-giving that we forget to slow down and appreciate the beauty of quiet mindfulness.

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy giving and receiving gifts. But here are 20 priceless experiences that cause me to pause – and take notice – of things that money can’t buy.

1. My daughter’s smile and laughter. How we came from opposite ends of the world to form a family is a mystery to me, but I am humbled by the universe’s randomness that somehow got it right.
2. Snow-play such as snowball fights, snow angels, and sledding. As I write this, it is sunny with beautiful snow flurries. I’m not a winter person by nature, but Ari has taught me to be.
3. The crunch of snow under one’s feet.
4. My inner child sparked by my daughter’s sense of fun, wonder, imagination, and her belief that anything is possible.
5. Changing seasons. Here in Illinois, we have the privilege of seasons that range from blazing autumn colors to downy-white snow.
6. Sunsets and sunrises with their explosive colors. Looking skyward is a great comfort to me.
7. The planet Venus. My favorite celestial body is remarkable to behold in the early morning and evening. If I’ve had a bad day, Venus’ presence reminds me that I’m really having a good day.
8. Animals. Ari and I recently met an owl at a local nature center, which rescues and houses injured animals. And there we stood, transfixed by the bird’s beautiful eyes and feathers. Those precious few moments gazing at the owl gave me peace.
9. My cats. These domestic creatures enjoy cuddling with their human pets. I especially love cuddling with them over coffee and a good book.
10. A good cup of coffee, to be savored.
11. And a good book.
12. Hot chocolate with my daughter after playing in the snow.
13. Music. I’m so grateful for all the composers and artists who create music. My taste ranges from classical to rock, and I am able to savor each song in the moment.
14. Oil painting and sketching and the phenomenon known as flow. More on flow in a future post.
15. The scent of flowering trees in spring.
16. The scent of a freshly mowed lawn.
17. Good friends and family.
18. Nice brisk walks on a crisp autumn morning.
19. Swimming.
20. Each moment, which is a milestone in its own right.

To you and your loved ones, have a wonderful holiday season!



Do you practice mindfulness?

What experiences do you treasure?


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9 Responses to 20 Mindful Experiences

  1. Kathi had this to say about that:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! I’ve really been allowing myself to enjoy all these treats about the season this year. So much fun if we let ourselves notice. Thank you for sharing your list of mindful treats. xoxo, Kathi

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Kathi,

      I’m so happy that you’ve been enjoying the holiday season. It’s true: we have to let ourselves notice all the wonderful parts of life. Too often we get mired in the day-to-day stresses of life without considering how truly wondrous our lives really can be.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. xo

  2. Rebecca had this to say about that:

    Thank you for your good wishes and for the reminder to pause during the holidays to appreciate those things money cannot buy.

    I do practice mindfulness. I love watching my cat, just knowing she is my little fury baby who depends on me for care and love. I enjoy this job. I appreciate being around friends who care for my well being. I enjoy being at home — taking naps, watching a good movie or comedy show, writing, reading or looking at old family photos. I am just glad to be around to experience life.

    This was a great post for the holidays, Beth. I wish you a healthy 2016 (and many more)!

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:


      Yes, watching our furry babies closely and appreciating them. I’m glad you have so many comforting mindfulness experiences. I love what you said, “I am just glad to be around to experience life.” Me too.

      May your 2016 be filled with health and joy!

  3. Nancy's Point had this to say about that:

    Hi Beth,
    Wishing you and Ari, and all your dear ones, a wonderful holiday season too. As I prepare for a very busy holiday at my house, I am going to think about your reminders to slow down and take in the moments as they unfold. At least I’m going to try to do that. Thank you for this wonderful post. xo

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Nancy,

      Thank you for your kind wishes. I know the holidays will be especially busy and stressful for many (even good stress is still stress).

      I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful holiday and a happy and healthy 2016.

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  5. Lisa DeFerrari had this to say about that:

    Here in Virginia it’s been way too warm for snow so far. But one of the things that I love about winter here is the sunsets. For some reasons, maybe because the angle of the sun is different, everyday sunsets can be quite beautiful here in winter. Thank you for the reminder to stop and appreciate the beauty in life, especially during this season of way too much busyness. Wishing you and Ari a warm and wonderful holiday season.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Lisa,

      I hope you had a great holiday, and you are right about sunsets being remarkable. I happen to love sunsets, too.

      Have a wonderful, healthy, joyous New Year!

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