Breathe In, Breathe Out

In class this week we learned how to be mindful through meditation. I had a teacher in high school that encouraged mindfulness but through less direct and less focused ways. We didn’t close our eyes or have a guided meditation, we were just told to think about breathing while we worked and did daily activities. I thought that was very hard to do and not very helpful or productive in the way of being mindful. I really enjoyed how we meditated in class and I loved the way we focused on our breathing and sending good feelings and thoughts out to ones we love. I tend to get over-stimulated and stressed very easily these days in college and I have to consciously tell myself to calm down and breathe. I have really helped myself recently by sitting still and concentrating on my breathing while I think about what is going on around me and how I can handle it even though I would rather shut it out. It’s really caused me to look at not-so-great things from a new perspective.

We had a really great discussion about whether or not we can be sustainable while still being invested in our western culture. Some people were on the “completely yes” side while many others were on the “absolutely not” side. There was a little arguing back and forth about how either side would make sense, but overall I thought it was great constructive argument. I started off the conversation in the middle taking a “I’m not sure” stance, but as the discussion progressed I quickly leaned more to the “yes, we can be sustainable while holding on to our western values” side. I think humans need to take a step back and realize that what we’re doing right now isn’t making anything better, but if we work together we can help the world to be a better, healthier and more sustainable place. People need to realize that sustainability starts with them – they can’t keep waiting for someone else to step up and start working on a new future. We have all played a part in destroying the earth, so we all need to play an even bigger part in cleaning it up.

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