Aaron Engelsrud

Gratitude Journal - March 31, 2021 Today, I am grateful for clear and concise speaking and writing. There is a time when being verbose and detailed is appropriate. There is also a time when you need to make your point quickly. I appreciate people who can drive home a point without droning on for excessive periods. We are all busy. Get to the end. For brevity, I am thankful.

Mindfulness Journal - March 30, 2021 - Day 1 of 365 I recently finished up the course I was working on within Headspace, so I was looking for a new one to start. Today I decided to start the year-long Headspace 365 journey. My goal is to stay consistent and complete this course in 365 days, not miss any days, nor do alternatives. Completing this challenge will take commitment and persistence.

Day 1 - The first few weeks will be a bit of a review as I go back through the basics courses. Today started the first introductory course - 10 for 10. This part of the program is ten minutes a day for ten days and covers mindfulness basics. I am looking forward to this review as it will get me well centered for the coming journey.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Like 6:41

Gratitude Journal - March 30, 2021 Today, I am grateful for persistence. Sometimes, the only way you can get something done or, more importantly, see results is by being persistent and keeping after it day-after-day. Coming back and continuing to attack problems after you’ve failed is one of the keys to success. For persistence, I am grateful.

Mindfulness Journal - March 29, 2021 Today was my 40th consecutive day practicing mindfulness. Being consistent and persistent with this process has been the key to really finding its power and usefulness. I’m thoroughly enjoying the process and look forward to continuing to make progress.

“Lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.” Psalms 38:21-22

Gratitude Journal - March 29, 2021 Today, I am grateful for mobile phone cases. While mobile phones have continued to get more durable, the phone-cases have also continued to get better. Accidents and broken screens are now much less frequent, and phones seem to last much longer. For this, I am grateful.

Mindfulness Journal - March 28, 2021 Last night I used some mindfulness techniques to help me fall asleep. I often have to work overnights where I have an opportunity to sleep in between calls (I’m a firefighter/EMT). There are times when I struggle to fall asleep when I am on-call - you know, a different room, a different bed, etc. Last night I initially struggled to get to sleep. However, by simply using some mindfulness techniques, I fell asleep in less than 5 minutes. Plus, my rest seemed more peaceful than usual. I’m very excited about the possibilities this opens up.

“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” John 7:24

Gratitude Journal - March 28, 2021 Today, I am grateful that I have been able to learn so much from my Dad. Today, I was able to successfully install a new ceiling fan in my son’s bedroom. I did it quickly and correctly. My Dad has been there to help me so many times that I now have confidence that I can handle most anything. Many of the tasks I take on and complete result from what he has taught me over the years. For this, I am grateful.

Mindfulness Journal - March 27, 2021 During my meditation this morning, I focused on limiting my expectation to achieve something through meditation. Instead, I should let the process happen and be satisfied with whatever comes out of it. There are times I think that my expectations are too high going into my meditation sessions. Instead of simply focusing on the quiet time and enjoying the mental silence for what it is, I bring in too high expectations that detract and distract my mind during the process. My unrealistic expectations bring in extra mental noise that interferes with the process.

“Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 16:19-20

Gratitude Journal - March 27, 2021 Today, I am grateful for being able to get lost in a good book. Having the ability to go to another place, another time, or even another world simply by picking up a book and reading a few pages is a magical experience. There is nothing better than reading a good book. For this, I am grateful.

Mindfulness Journal - March 26, 2021 Today was day 10 of the Pro Level 1 course in Headspace. As such, there was a lot of quiet time. All in all I’d say my effort here was a success. The silence is getting easier to manage and I’m getting more comfortable with bringing the focus back when I get off track. Enjoy the silence!

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45

Don’t store up evil in your heart. Approach life with a spirit of goodness and kindness. Pretty simple.

Be a good man.

Gratitude Journal - March 26, 2021 Today, I am grateful for the fact that we are still able to get vinyl records. There is something special about Pink Floyd or Rush on a turntable versus on your iPhone. The sound is just different, more authentic, better and worse all at the same time. For this, I am grateful.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Mindfulness Journal - March 25, 2021 This morning, after a long night at the fire station, I took some time to meditate as soon as I got home. The house was quiet and peaceful, and I was able to focus on my breath. I’m amazed each day as to how time seems to warp while concentrating on this action. Some days, 10 or 15 minutes seem to go on forever. Other days, the time flies by quickly. Today was a short day; it was over before I knew it. I still ended up relaxed and feeling good.

Gratitude Journal - March 25, 2021 Today, I am grateful for my health and the health of my family. Our health is not something any of us should take for granted. Keep on top of your health - both physical and mental - and make sure your family members do as well. Once health is lost, it isn’t easy to regain. My family has been lucky to have good health and minimal sickness. For this, I am grateful.

Mindfulness Journal - March 24, 2021 I actually started today’s meditation earlier in the day, but due to lack planning, kids, and schedules I was unable to complete it the first time. On a second attempt later in the evening I was able to get through it and the meditation went very well. I need to get back to my morning schedule where I know I will be uninterrupted.

“The blameless spend their days under the Lord ’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.” Psalms 37:18-19

Gratitude Journal - March 24, 2021 Today, I am grateful for my sump pump. On rainy days like today, hearing that pump run every once in a while gives me confidence that my basement is staying dry. For this, I am grateful.

Mindfulness Journal - March 23, 2021 While this is my first journal post on mindfulness, I’ve been reasonably consistent in my practice for the past several months. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to record my mindfulness journey and let others know about the process and what it can do for you. For transparency, I’m using the Headspace app routinely to guide me through my daily meditation (though I have tried Calm as well), and I enjoy the process very much.

On day seven of the Pro course in Headspace, I am working on getting more comfortable with silence. The guidance and prompts are getting fewer and further between as we progress. Today was a challenge. I found my mind wandering away frequently, lost in random thoughts (one of which was to start this journal), and generally having difficulty focusing on my breath. This isn’t bad nor good. I’ve learned to accept these days for what they are. I try to learn from the wandering of my mind rather than fight with it. Mindfulness and meditation is a daily process that has different results each time.

”“Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”” Luke 5:31-32

Gratitude Journal - March 23, 2021 Today, I am grateful for our collective ability to adapt to and overcome challenges or setbacks in life. Adaptability gives us the chance to improve our current situation, remove obstacles from our lives, and change our direction. There is always an opportunity to adapt to the new reality. For this, I am grateful.