Sometimes, when we first get started with a mindfulness practice, even carving out five minutes can feel overwhelming. Ellen Langer, a Harvard Professor of Psychology, does not even think we need the formal practice, but advocates for bringing awareness to our every day moments.
So how can we infuse mindfulness into our lives and the lives of our students? Each week we will explore this question and offer a few bite-sized mindful moments for you to bring to your life and the lives of your students.
MINDFUL MOMENT FOR YOU: Tune into senses while commuting
While walking, biking, or driving to work in the morning, bring your full awareness to your senses. Take a moment to look up to the sky and take note of the patterns there. Take in the colors of the plants as you pass them by. Listen to the sounds of the cars around you. Feel the weight of your body in the seat and hands on the steering wheel, handlebars, or moving at your sides. Whenever the mind wanders to your To Do List, remind yourself, "Just for this drive, I will be present," and come back to the observing sensations.
MINDFUL MOMENT FOR YOUR STUDENTS: Take the temperature of the room
At the beginning of class, ask students how they are doing, on scale of 1-5 (1= really struggling, 5 = really happy). They can respond either verbally, or by holding up the number with their fingers. Observe out loud what the trend in the room is, and maybe make a recommendation for how to proceed with that knowledge. (eg- "seems like we are collectively having a rough day, so let's take it easy on one another").