Part of my mindfulness training has seen me bringing together aspects of my life that I have often held as separate.
The most difficult act of inclusion has been uniting my job with my creative endeavors. In those initial floundering years post-college, I very actively and forcefully separated the two so that my job was a miserable march to earn a paycheck while my creative endeavors—writing! music!—were held as sacrosanct activities.
I suffered for forcing this separation. My personal life was unfulfilled (he wrote, summarizing multiple agonizing years of failed relationships in a mere phrase), and in retrospect, I know that my art wasn’t exactly flourishing.
The act of separating is more subtle these days, but I still do it unconsciously - even as the lines between work-self and artist-self are blurring because of how I work (at home or on the road), whom I live with (wife and children), and more self-awareness.*
To live my best life (as the kids say), I recognize that not only do I need to bring my presence to that life, no matter what it is I’m doing, but I also need to be who I am in all of those areas, which requires acceptance and confidence. Hence, I suppose, the word ‘practice’ that often cabooses the term ‘mindfulness.’
*It’s not easy.