To school that is… As a teacher and mom, the summers are GREATLY appreciated. Having lots of quality time with my family and friends is a wonderful opportunity. Of course, going back to work after 2 lovely months, can be tough (even if I have done this for 15 yrs!) I know that other colleagues, moms and educators share the feeling… So I wrote about getting ourselves back to work mindfully this month. You can find the article here. And while some of us may not be educators or parents, simply getting into the “swing of things” – can sometimes be tough. We hit stumbling blocks – it’s ok, and just part of the journey. Using some of the mindfulness techniques mentioned here just may make those blocks a lot easier to get by.
You may also want to use some of the resources from this blog for other “tips and tricks” on using mindfulness in your every day living.
Lastly, a few visuals (for rainy days or times you’re “forced” to be at your computer) to help you breathe a bit easier…
I came across this wonderful piece today on how to make a personalized mandala… If you enjoy working off some stress or just finding some breathing space with coloring and art, this is wonderful inspiration from an artist at Soul Flower (great clothing too !) to get you creating your own patterns and designs from simple things around your home.
Check out this great piece on incorporating simple, relaxing and meditative practices into your every day!
In her book Self-Meditation: 3,299 Mantras, Tips, Quotes and Koans for Peace and Serenity , bestselling author Barbara Ann Kipfer offers a wealth of inspiration for practicing kindness and breathing in the beauty of daily moments and the miracles that are our lives.
Let small chores act as a stop sign to “breathe, relax and experience peace.”
Sit down and “become a human still life.” Don’t do anything. Just breathe.
When you’re driving, focus solely on that experience. “Feel the steering wheel, the pedals, the seat.”
“Listen for the quietest sound.”
Focus on your sense of smell. Take something you’d like to smell, such as a flower or food, and put it up close to your nose. Notice the changes in the aroma. Focus on the sensations in your body as you inhale and exhale. Then try to focus on other fragrances around you throughout the day.
Focus on your sense of touch. Focus on the sensation of your hands touching each other, “your clothes brushing against your skin, and the air moving across your face.”
In the beginning of the week, pick an activity you normally do on autopilot, such as washing your hands, applying makeup or getting into your car. Pause for several seconds before starting the activity. Then perform it with your full attention.
If you’re new to meditating and like details and visuals -this is a great one from artist Eric deBarros…. starting with just 5 or 10 minutes a day can make for some BIG changes and results as you practice……
As part of my “mindfulness” work I talk to students about what their brains look like on a daily basis and how easy it is to allow too many ideas in… In fact, we have about 60-80,000 thoughts a day ! Trying to “see” those thoughts is , of course, impossible. But , sadly, many of them lead us to a lot of unnecessary stress.
I usually use the glitter/water balls or wands to show students just what this looks like. I also have a lovely little collection of holiday shakers too – but the jars are a great way to get kids involved too.
Our brains look much like these glitter jars… Tiny little thoughts floating all over, all of the time… If we allow the glitter to gently fall to the bottom, we can also visualize a way to, in fact, calm our minds and thoughts.