Saturday, August 13, 2016

New Direction

When I first started this blog almost 10 years ago, it was as a way of dealing with my son’s diagnosis with type one diabetes and celiac. I discovered a wonderful, supportive community of people dealing with both issues, and found an outlet for my frustrations, celebrations, and discoveries. As my son has grown into adulthood and taken on management of his conditions, I have taken my sticky fingers off of the controls, while continuing to provide support, recipes, and unconditional love.  And so time passes, all the children get older (although I think I am staying the same age, right? RIGHT?) and find their independence.

A few years ago I started reading about mindfulness. I attended a workshop or two, took a few classes, and started to notice a change in my outlook and behavior. After so many years of worry and constant giving of myself, mindfulness has been a healing salve to my mind and emotions. Mindfulness is brain training; it goes hand in hand with being physically fit. When I began to notice the changes in my self that came from regular mindfulness practice, I realized the importance of teaching mindfulness to children.

I have now taken three classes through Mindful Schools: Mindfulness Fundamentals, Mindfulness Educator Essentials and Mindfulness for Difficult Emotions, in addition to many different workshops on the intersection of mindfulness and education. I started working with a few students at my school last school year, just 15 minutes a week, and saw changes in behavior and focus even with that small bit of instruction.

Mindfulness, as I have been taught, has a lot to do with sitting quietly. But I also practice mindfulness when I am out for a walk, when I am driving, when in a conversation – almost any time. When I was taking poetry courses in grad school, I used to write every day, just write everything I noticed in that day. I used those notice moments to build poems; they were crystal clear fragments, which on their own were brief, but beautiful. When strung together into a poem, they often pointed to a theme, or a deeper meaning, which I didn’t know existed until the moments harmonized on the page.

I have not written in this blog for a long time. I foundered, no longer needing it as a crutch to help me deal with issues surrounding chronic illness. But now I would like to use it to string together notice moments. Sitting on the grass, still warm after the sun goes down, searching the sky for the perseid meteors, and surrendering to the deep feeling of connection with the living world.  Watching my child laugh freely at a movie, lost in the story.  Smiling after a conversation with a stranger in the parking lot at the mall – a twinkling of kindness and contact in our busy world.

What have you noticed today? What stayed in your heart? I look forward to the clarity and connections.

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