Tiny Bits Of Mindfulness

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

This morning I went and made a few changes that will spark mindfulness in the coming year: I changed each and every password for each and every account I sign into or log onto. No, wait. I didn’t just change them, I transformed them.

How do you transform a password? Or more importantly, what did I transform my passwords into? I took the boring old passwords that were outdated and turned them into something meaningful to me now. Instead of mindlessly typing in the same passwords I’ve always used, I’m making myself think about the password as I type it in.

Instead of [dian123]* I now use [AuthenticDian2010]* or [MindfulDian123]*.

Instead of using a password as just a silly ol’ password, I’m using it as an intention. I’m using it to help me stay mindful of whom I’m becoming this year. I’m engaging my brain in the thoughts that embody my choice of focus for the day/month/quarter/year. I haven’t decided whether I will change the passwords monthly or quarterly, but I do know that I’ll sit down to ask myself if I want to engage in different thoughts on a monthly basis—I’ve already got that in the calendar.

Oh my, that seems like a lot of work, Dian! Actually, not really. It took me all of 10 minutes come up with several variations of passwords I wanted to use to express my intentions this morning. And then another 10 minutes to log into all of my accounts and make the changes. 20 minutes total. It’s going to take me longer than that to write this post.

It’s not that I need to change my passwords every month just for the sake of change. It’s that I want to take a moment to check the alignment of my thoughts with motion of my path. If everything’s still in alignment, then great! I leave the passwords alone and check in with myself in another month. And if I feel out of alignment, then great! I can change a password here and there, and I’ll be set in 20 minutes or less.

Here’s how you can be more mindful with your passwords, too:

  • Get a blank piece of paper and a pen or pencil and set them down in front of you
  • Sit down and relax
  • Take a deep breath in and slowly release
  • Close your eyes and imagine yourself in complete bliss
  • Notice what you’re doing, where you are and who you’re with
  • Notice the smell, the sounds, the feel of being there
  • Take another deep breath in and slowly release
  • Open your eyes and write down the words that connect you to that vision
  • Choose 3-5 words you feel comfortable with aligning yourself with for the next month
  • Build a password around each word you’ve chosen to align yourself with
  • Log onto your accounts and change away!
  • Create an appointment in your calendar for one month from today to revisit these passwords to make sure they’re still in alignment with who you’re becoming

These tiny changes can have a powerful effect on the direction you’re taking yourself in. The trick is to be mindful when using your passwords, and to think about what you’re doing to create that for yourself each time. The effect may be small in the beginning, but even the Mississippi River begins slightly, way up in Minnesota where you can walk across in a few short steps.

What impact can you create for yourself by changing a password here and there?

This post is in response to a prompt by Gwen Bell’s #mindfulist project: Jan 2 Passwords. Take time today to update your passwords. Make them bells of mindfulness, action-oriented words.

*Not real passwords
Photo used via Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rattodisabina/ / CC BY 2.0


Kirsten Ogden January.4.2010 at 11.16 pm

Yes, I love this! I'm doing it today as well!

AlanaSheeren January.5.2010 at 6.15 am

Thanks for the step by step – was feeling a little overwhelmed by the process.

Julie Jordan Scott January.5.2010 at 6.37 am

I think it was my long usage of “iamhome” which helped me leap from government bureaucrat to home based entrepreneur. I don't use that one anymore, instead I remind myself of my adoration for my babies… which was, indeed, a big part of the motivation for that now long ago password.

whollyjeanne January.6.2010 at 6.18 pm

it is rather amazing how transformational something seemingly as small and inconsequential as changing passwords can be, isn't it?

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