My Lenten challenge this year (and always): mindfulness. This space is filled with posts about ways I've attempted, sought out, and reached mindfulness in different areas of my life, but it's a lifetime challenge and something I need specifically in this season (The Going Back to School, Planning a Wedding, and Finding a Job All at the Same Damn Time Season).
Mindfulness is at the front of my brain right now partially because I'm co-teaching a class on it - aka, two qualified volunteers are teaching mindfulness and I'm making sure the kids aren't giggling with their friends or throwing paper airplanes while they're supposed to be meditating. If we adults think sitting silently and letting our thoughts wander is difficult, middle schoolers find it absolutely terrifying. When we plan each lesson, we think of how it would feel to be a kid doing each activity - our classroom is a no judgment zone, but we still don't want to do anything to make anyone anxious or embarrassed.
Outside of school/work, I've also started listening to an audiobook on mindfulness, Get Some Headspace by Andy Puddicombe. Some of you may have heard of his free app, Headspace, which I'm also sort of trying out, but I want to finish the book first - and I've found that even listening to an audiobook for ten minutes at a time is challenging. Listening without some sort of visual aid doesn't come easily to me, but it's a skill I want to develop and audiobooks or guided meditations seem like the best way to practice.
If anyone has any other tips or tricks to just being without thinking, I'm all ears. Until then, I'll learn by doing - day-by-day and about 10 minutes at a time.