can't think of a more opportune time to practice mindfulness than getting a tattoo fixed! Shady Lady Tattoo) did a fine job. She worked with the design to make a moon design for me using blues, lavenders and white. I look forward to seeing what it looks like after it has healed and I'm happy with it. We chose spring to do this - a time of new beginnings (at least on the calendar it is spring, it's been snowing for a day and a half now.) I brought a book to read for school - the very DRY book for understanding research methods (researching how to research.) I didn't read more than 11 pages though. I was mainly more interested in what was going on at my back! :-) This is the only tattoo I have and it's the 2nd time I've gotten work done on this shoulder. There were times when the needle was getting close to my shoulder blade and that was a bit intense but only very briefly. Otherwise it was just kind of an annoyance and still other times it was just fine, no problem. I could feel the times when she was doing the white outline - that was an interesting sensation. It felt a bit like slicing but not quite. Hard to explain. Having this done kept me in the present moment, though, that's for sure! Also kept me 100% in my body! LOL How could I not be? Still my mind wandered at times. I remembered when I got my first tattoo. I remember asking a co-worker and friend (Dave, who now has like 40 tattoos or something amazing) if they hurt. I remember him saying they feel awesome. He's a thrash metal drummer so of course he would say that. But I remember him saying this. There were times when the the needle felt almost good - like scratching an itch. It didn't last long but when it happened, I would think of Dave and hear him and see him emphatically state how awesome this felt. LOL (still can't believe that Dave has a wikipedia page! DUDE! -- I was looking for his website but I don't think he has it anymore...) :-) I also remembered my friend Jen being with me the first time I had this done. I was grateful that she came and kept me company. I remember the first time I had this done there was a point when I was physically ready to end the tattooing, but the guy had more to do. I thought today how different it was to be 42 and not really needing to have anyone with me to do this the second time around. There was a lot less nervousness and excitement over this. What it seemed like was that I was taking care of myself and fixing something that needed to be fixed. All these lingering thoughts came in and didn't last long - thankfully each zap of the needle brought be back to center and back to present. Because the breaks in between the needle working were so brief, it was very easy to get to present moment. The whole process took an hour and a half ish. Not bad. I'm going to go back and get another one closer to my birthday. Meredith was great and we had a nice little chat about life in the process (here and there in between needles zapping.) Meredith was done and pronounced that she liked it. I said that was good to hear your tattoo artist liking what she did! I drove home during snow showers and continued on with my day. I'm grateful for all the ways in which I can practice mindfulness during my day.