This summer I took a breath, literally. I spent time embarking on a journey within to deepen my meditation and mindfulness practice.
When I was in college, I believed having an overactive mind was my competitive advantage. I let stress fuel my ability to be over-productive inside and outside the classroom. Between managing a full academic course load, multiple organizations, and an active social life, I thought I had it all figure out.
Fast-forward fifteen years into my career as a working mother, partner, manager, and community advocate. I was burnt out, sick, and in overdrive. I wasn’t enjoying the present moment and was always worried about the future. I needed to find a better way to manage my stress.
During that difficult time, I learned about mindfulness, and over the last five years, I’ve made an effort to practice meditation as part of my wellness routine.
This summer I spent time learning a technique called Transcendental Meditation (TM). TM comes from the teaching of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and was brought to the West in the late 1950s. As part of the technique, participants are given a mantra and commit to meditating for 20 minutes, twice a day. The technique is easy, efficient, and can be accomplished in a seated position while closing your eyes. As Maharishi shares, “Wherever we can think a thought we can meditate, therefore we can meditate anywhere!”
This summer reminded me that taking time each day to pause, breathe, and engage in the present moment helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed with the daily demands of life. Meditation is the greatest gift you can give to your mind, body, and spirit. My goal is to continue to use meditation and mindfulness activities to teach students how to center, tune-in, and be present.