The POWER of Your Attention
At this first session, we start with the fundamentals of mindfulness: the practice of paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non judgmentally.
Of course, this all sounds simple. And it is…simple. But it isn’t easy. Anything worth doing rarely is.
So we begin simply; attempting to direct our attention to our breath.
Try it now– sit back, close your eyes, and focus on the feeling of the breath for 10 inhales and exhales or click on the AWARENESS of BREATH Meditation (4 minutes) below.
Awareness of Breath Meditation ~ (4 minutes)
SEPTEMBER Practice Tips:
Catch your breath every day
It may be one breath, it may be 10 breaths, or it may be repeatedly in a 10 minute guided body scan. You have options.
Once you start to catch your breath in your teaching and your everyday life, especially when feeling stressed, you will start to experience a lightness in the mind. Our breath is a neutralizing force. It calms the mind and body just enough to get a bigger, broader perspective of things.
This is good– both personally and professionally. As you get into the habit of turning your attention inward and toward your breath, you will become more understanding of yourself and your emotions. When you do this, and only after you do this, are you able to then pay full attention to what is happening in your classroom and in your students hearts and minds.
#1: Try this in your teaching: Create a Breath Base
#2:Try this in your personal life: Test out a meditation/breathing app!
The super computers in our pockets can either exacerbate our feeling of overwhelm or help us find calm in this crazy world! Teachers I’ve worked with highly recommend the following two apps:
1) CALM APP
(You can get the app for FREE for educators at: https://www.calm.com/schools#teacher-form).
Calm.com is also an awesome website with meditations that teachers use in their classrooms with their kids.
I recommend trying the “7 Days of Calm” to start or the guided body scans.
2) Breathe APP
Teachers love this app because of the options for many different types of meditations as well as for the meditation tracker. It feels great to see how often you are creating space in your crazy life to pay attention to yourself so you can better pay attention to your students and those you love.
The forward, introduction and Chapter 1: What is Mindfulness in Jennings would be an amazing compliment to your “catch your breath” daily practice this month. In these chapters, you will discover the ways…
Mindfulness, or the practice of paying attention, does several things for us (personally and professionally):
1) It helps us to center ourselves, if just for a bit, to feel calm and gain perspective.
2) It helps us to feel more relaxed and really here– not lost on thought, anxiety, overwhelm, guilt, etc.
3) It helps us to discover what we are thinking about and what is stressing us out.
4) It allows us to be emotionally present and “there” for the people around us.