The Art of Being Present

Lately, people all around me have been talking about being present in the moment.  Being that I am an education major, it has become a large topic of discussion- I’ve heard it discussed at the learning center that I work at and in my classes.  But how is one able to be attentive every second of everyday?  I am on the journey to find out more about mindfulness and will share what I am learning along the way.

The most interesting thing I have heard recently is that technology is taking away from our daily presence.  It’s true! When you step outside do you hear birds chirping or the clicking of ones fingers?  You should see people talking to each other out to dinner, not preoccupied with their heads buried in their phones worrying about what is going on elsewhere.  It is said that for one to be more mindful they should bring more focus into daily tasks, no matter how monotonous or stressful they may be.  Washing the dishes, eating dinner, and standing in the checkout line are each individual tasks that must be accomplished, but it is difficult to be present in each task when our society views them as chores that must be completed before moving on to the next part of our day.

As a future teacher it is important to be cognizant with my students to ensure their understanding and success in my class.  So I decided that I would start by trying to be more vigilant on a day-to-day scale, thinking about what is now and in the near future.  It is exceptionally difficult as I am someone who plans exceedingly far into the future and stresses about things that I may not necessarily be able to control.  The beginning part of my journey to living in a more mindful manner was to begin daily meditations.  At first I had an idea to meditate every morning for a month, but I soon realized that it would become a part of a long-term goal rather than accomplishing momentary self-awareness.

I have been reading up on mindfulness and discussing it in classes, overall I found that the app Headspace is most useful to me.  Headspace is an app that utilizes guided meditations to talk you through becoming more mindful and acknowledging your thoughts, but not letting them stress you out and linger.  I try to meditate once every morning before I start my day. However, as you can see it has been difficult to do so.  With all of my classes this semester I have found it difficult to accomplish not only new momentary goals, but any personal art projects as well.  Normally I can find myself doing multiple art pieces at any given time which open my mind to new ideas.  Maybe that’s where my practice has gone in the past, and why daily meditation does not come naturally for me.  In what activities do you find you are most aware of yourself while doing?

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