Pursuing Mindfulness in 2016
With the simultaneous and instantaneous beginning and end marking the shift between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day comes an almost equally sudden desire for change. Along with the start of a new year come all of our best intentions for our selves, our treatment of others, and our footprint in our community and our world. In order to accomplish all that we’d like to, or even all that we can, during the new year, it is perhaps more important to connect with ourselves before we attempt to change ourselves – exploring the shape and structure of our foundation before we build upon it.
With the importance of connecting with our inner self in mind, we set our intentions for the new year: to discover mindfulness. Following on the heels of 2014’s resolution to appreciate daily moments and 2015’s goal of sharing acts of kindness, our 2016 resolution is to pursue mindfulness and connect with our true sense of our selves. While the resolutions of previous years drew us further outside of ourselves in our efforts to create positive change in the world around us, this year’s resolution draws us back in, encouraging us to focus on ourselves in order to support our continued pursuit of the ability to have a positive impact on our communities and our world.
Before the holidays, we encouraged families to explore the idea of offering mindful presence as presents, highlighting the impact that a mindful presence can have not only on our selves but on those around us as well. The pursuit of mindfulness during the new year supports and extends this holiday gift-giving mindset, allowing families to bring mindfulness practice into their everyday lives year-round. Not only will such practice allow us to be truly present with others, but a clear and connected mind can lead to the development of deep thinking skills, as well as skills for self-regulating during times of stress, anxiety, and other strong emotions.
In addition to the benefits that mindfulness offers us as individuals, mindfulness practice can also allow families to be more available to connect with the people and places around them. In order to understand the world around us, we must first begin to understand ourselves; through mindfulness we can begin to uncover ourselves and prepare to connect authentically with our communities and our local landscape. A deepened sense of self can even lead to better learning, as personal connections to ideas and information may become more clear – allowing them to become more permanent in our minds.
So for the purposes of deeper learning, more authentic connections with community and landscape, and for a stronger sense of self, resolve to be more mindful during 2016. Explore ways to find a sense of calm and balance together as a family, and enjoy the benefits of mindfulness together this year.
[Photo credit: (cc) Diana]