Without thinking, I almost ate some Frosted Mini Wheats yesterday afternoon. I was hungry and I hadn't had much to eat.
A creature of habit, I opened the cabinet and had my outstretched arm nearly gripping the orange box when it registered - there's sugar on them.
I put the box down.
This happened again after dinner when I opened the freezer and almost cheated on cookie dough.
Not because I intentionally wanted to break my sugar fast within the first three days of starting it, but because my body and mind are so pre-programmed to eat without thinking.
Being mindful to act differently is not just a matter of willpower or good intentions, I'm having to carefully examine every thought right now and choose to act differently.
Keeping my goals of the sugar fast in sight helps.
Yesterday as I was undergoing my own mindfulness exercises, I saw the trending news headlines about displeasure with some of our representatives for their responses regarding the Florida high school shooting.
Many feel "thoughts and prayers" they've offered on social media aren't enough.
There's a lot of truth in the outcries.
As a high schooler when Columbine happened, I couldn't believe my eyes... and now as a 30-something I'm in disbelief this is still happening.
Look at how many mass shootings have happened the past several years (to see "shooting" in a headline doesn't surprise me anymore) - this is what's sad.
Look at the pictures of teenagers running out of their school with their arms in the air - it's our job as adults to keep them safe.
Watch the bereaved parents finding the courage to mourn on national TV so the loss of their children will prevent others from experiencing it too - empathy means we don't only listen, we act.
Even as a praying person myself - I believe that stopping school shootings is going to take mindful and intentional action in addition to our thoughts and prayers.
This applies to all of us - including our country's leaders.
The norm is for our patterns and posts to run on autopilot - to stay safe and comfortable because it's what we're used to - to be vague so we don't lock ourselves into promises we can't keep.
To say things that don't offend our neighbors (or our funders).
But if we want to see real change, we must put the box of sugar-covered cereal down. We must do more than offer "safe" condolences and public statements. We must look deep inside ourselves and ask how we can be part of the solution and how we can help - even if it costs us something.
We must be willing to create a new way and give all the strength we've got to make it happen.