Over the past year I have found myself interested in the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness, based around ancient Buddhist practices, is the moment to moment awareness of our thoughts and feelings in the present. It is a non-judgmental awareness as well as acceptance of our thoughts and feelings as we are experiencing them in the moment. The idea of mindfulness involves a myriad of practices and concepts: from meditation to Mindfulness-based therapies and all that may fall in between in work, interpersonal relationships, family, and life.
Mindfulness has become valuable to me as I work with the students and participants at The Community School as well as in everyday interactions and relationships in my personal life. Throughout graduate school and into my internship it seemed difficult to concentrate on the present moment. Often times, I found myself thinking about where I had to be later, what I had to complete for school, or what I wanted a participant to do during our period rather than what was happening. I was consistently frustrated and frazzled. It wasn’t until I consciously began to slow down my thoughts and actively place myself in the present that I realized how much I was missing. Practicing mindfulness has helped me deliberately and actively engage in the moment, not only with other individuals but with myself as well. Even sitting quietly for ten minutes sometimes, no technology, no looking at the planner, just being, is greatly calming and refreshing. There certainly is not a right or wrong way to be mindful.
Below are a few links that talk more about mindfulness, its benefits, and easy ways to bring mindfulness into your life.
– Sara Morgan