Friday, February 24, 2012

Reflections: Pleasant Experiences

To prepare for the arrival of Gates, cubes and I are taking a 9-week class over at UCSF, "Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Program." One of our homework assignments involved chronicling a pleasant experience each day for a week.

My Favorite Things

  • What was the experience?

  • Were you aware of the pleasant feeling while the event was happening?

  • How did your body feel, in detail, during this experience?

  • What moods, feelings, and thoughts accompanied this event?

  • What thoughts are in your mind now as you write down this event?

One evening I was keyed up and was venting to cubes. cubes listened and asked what comfort food he could get for dinner that would make me feel better. He ran out to fetch dinner and by the time he returned I was in a better mood. Why? Not because the situation I'd initially been reacting to had changed, but because I realized my reaction wasn't productive and I was caught up rehashing rather than being in the moment. The quiet moments cubes and I had that evening were my pleasant experience for that day.

When I started the exercise, I hadn't really thought about what we might be learning from it. It surprised me that midway through the exercise I could catch myself in a negative cycle and change my reaction.

I also discovered by actively looking for the pleasant experiences - in addition to the more obvious negative experiences that go along with pregnancy - there were aspects of being pregnant that were pleasant.

Try keeping track of one pleasant experience each day for a week. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Ciao Bella!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.