Mindfulness apps and classes are flooding the internet and after the challenges of 2020, it makes sense that we want to fix the problem of distraction but it can be confusing to know how to actually do that. John Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Center at UMass Medical Center says “an attitude of non-striving is essential for mindfulness”, I recently read someone promoting another mindfulness class with the slogan, ‘Join Us as We Strive for Mindfulness’.
Taking a class or downloading an app to learn techniques can be helpful, but if there’s a goal or an expectation that ‘doing’ mindfulness will fix something, then it may end up like all the resolutions that are forgotten by Valentine’s Day.
Mindfulness is not a fad or a trend. There is no place to get to or goal to be achieved. It is the simple yet profound realization that we are not our thoughts but the one who is aware of the thinking. With practice, we can learn to place attention wherever we like.
As we leave the chaos of 2020, it may be a good time to gather our community and have a conversation about what happened and how we have been affected individually and as a whole. After a year of upheaval, many are searching for healing and a deeper sense of meaning. It reminds me of Mother Teresa’s words, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
The thing many people love the most about the Graduate Institute, besides the cutting-edge areas of study is the sense of belonging. We don’t view each other exclusively as students, administrators, or faculty as much as instruments in a piece of music that expands far beyond the sum of our parts. It feels like those who touch the school in any capacity never really leave, their hearts linger and they manifest differently in the world, resonating with a broader range of notes and new clarity about the gift of being alive. They also know how to share that with others.
“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” –Marianne Williamson
We invite you to take a moment to pause and create a mindfulness practice for yourself. We also love seeing your comments as you share your perspectives below.
As we know from the study of integrative health and healing, people begin to heal when they can express themselves honestly and feel deeply heard by a non-judgmental community.
How are you making sense of the new normal?
What inspiring or creative insights have arisen while dealing with the pandemic, as well as the political and social upheavals?
How has your time with TGI affected the way you navigated the past year?
What are some ways we can all serve the greater community?
“As we forgive what happened in the past, we prepare for miracles in the future.” –Marianne Williamson
If you would like to see more tips for a Mindfulness Reset – you may enjoy the next blog as I share tips for a Reset in Part 2: https://learn.edu/new-year-resolution/
If you like to read my previous blog on forgiveness and surrender – you may enjoy this blog: https://learn.edu/forgiveness-grace-thanksgiving/
Blog is written by Kimberly Ruggiero.
Kimberly Ruggiero is a long time meditator. She works as a transformational coach and artist. She has a BS in Chemistry, MA in Consciousness Studies and studied at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art. Kim has training in MBSR and is certified through the Engaged Mindfulness Institute. She works as a Program Coordinator in Integrative Health and Healing and facilitates a Mindfulness Meditation Group at TGI – every Tuesday evening online – https://learn.edu/events/