We are approaching a new school year. This often brings about new goals and dreams - for yourself and your students. What if you considered picking up a consistent mindfulness practice for yourself? Like REALLY doing it, not just here and there when you can? Consider this...
Mindfulness is a practice-just like learning a new instrument, picking up cooking, or trying out a new sport. It doesn't just happen. It takes time. It takes practice. It is always evolving. And you know what, it is not easy to do everyday.
Let's say you just turned 40 (like myself) and you decided to set a goal to run a half marathon (I just may have done this). If I was to sign up to run 13.1 miles on a whim and tried to do it with little or no training, I would be in a lot of pain. And quite frankly, I'd feel like a miserable failure.
This is such a parallel story to many people's first experiences with mindfulness and meditation. "Ugh...I tried it but I can't sit still for 5 minutes - and certainly not 20 like they recommend." I hear this at least three times a week.
Okay, then don't. Don't do it for 20 minutes. Don't do even do it for 5 minutes. Try it for one minute. And then build up your endurance. Just like I can do with the half marathon training. I'm sure you wouldn't recommend running 12 miles on day one. I'm pretty sure I'd hear to start with a mile - and then two - back to one - up to three...and so on.
Just like my heart and quads immersed in running, I need to give them time to build up. But with more practice and training, the stronger they become and the more enjoyable running is. The same goes with our brains. Our brains are plastic - that is, they can reorganize and form new connections with repetition and new learning. If we are more deliberate in what we choose to focus on, we can ultimately have more control over our response to experiences, impacting not only our own and happiness and well-being, but our relationships and the well-being of others. But in order to do this, start small. Start realistic. Start with sitting in peace for just a minute or two and slowly build up. Your brain will start to reap the benefits, as will your entire body. And remember, it's a practice. There will be some easy days and some tough ones. Just keep going.
You've got this,
Wondering how the brain can actually change? Check out this 4 minute video from Professor Richard Davidson from the Center for Healthy Minds.
the blog space
I'm obsessed. This is fabulous. LOVE that you are doing this. The new way of being a student forces us to think outside the box and approach how we teach more dynamically.
~Derek, Father of 2 and Elementary School Principal
Just a girl with a dream to collectively build a healthy mind space for children, while creating a healthier mind space for ourselves.
Copyright Healthy Mind Space 2019