As the year continues, there are days when I have to force myself to slow down and think about my mindfulness practice. There are other days when I notice some habits I have built within the last four months. For instance:
- Deep breathing – I definitely find myself taking time to stop and take a few calming deep breaths. I am a stressed-out person by nature so this is something that has quickly become a habit! I do feel calmer and more relaxed after I breathe deeply for a few moments.
- Mindful eating – I continue to work on this practice. Over this last month, I focused on being more aware of how certain foods effect me, and that sugar does not make me feel good! Of course, watching the Fed Up documentary fueled that fire even more!
- Routines – I recently read a great article that really resonated with me about the value of routines. I find that my routines are part of my mindfulness habits and keep me calmer.
- Reading- Reading, as a hobby, helps me stay more in the moment. With the completion of my dissertation, I am finding more time for personal reading. My aunt recently sent me a NY Times Magazine article about The Muddied Meaning of Mindfulness that was interesting! I didn’t know some of the history of the word that was shared, and I agree that we seem to be moving farther away from a common understanding.
Similar to my earlier reflections about the value of a sunset walk with a friend, I enjoyed a number of walks around Chicago when I was there for the AERA conference. I also found myself able to stop and enjoy some of my favorite art while visiting the Art Institute in Chicago. I have always been a fan of Monet’s work. I can remember being mesmerized by the larger than life water lilies on display in Paris many years ago. On this trip, I was able to slow down and take time to be mindful watching in the Monet section of the Impressionist wing of the museum. It’s nice to know that the simple hobby of admiring art work can bring out my mindfulness practice in a new way!
I look forward to May flowers, abundant sunshine, and more mindfulness ahead!