When going through our everyday lives, being mindful is not something that is normal. Typically, our minds are full of worries, work related things, school, and so many things that are not in our control. We all need to take a step back and realize what is the most important in our lives. Ourselves. Now I am not talking about the world revolving around ourselves, I am talking about caring for ourselves and taking time to breathe throughout the stressful and not so stressful times. Mindfulness to me is slowing down and looking around to observe the beauties of everyday life. maybe that’s a dog playing on library lawn. Maybe its just taking the time to smile at a random person. One time I was in the mall with my mom and I looked up and smiled at this woman. Not even knowing it, I made her day. She came up to mom and asked, “Is that your daughter?” my mom replied with a nod and the lady said “I just wanted to let you know your sweet daughter took the time to look up from her phone and give me genuine smile. That made my day!” My mom was very pleased to hear those words come from that sweet lady. Not only did I make that ladies day but hearing that I affected someone else in a positive way made my day as well. Mindfulness doesn’t have to be sitting down and meditating. You can be mindful by just stopping and looking up from your phone and giving a smile. I know the past couple of weeks have been hard on me. My boyfriend has told me I need to take time to breathe and relax. With him being here for me, and this class emphasizing being mindful, has been a huge blessing. School can be very overwhelming, and mindfulness can help relieve stress while also improving your sense of awareness.
Being mindful has more than just one affect on a person. Practicing it over a period can boost happiness, help focus on your wellbeing, help clarify one’s values, having empathy, and help us think more sustainably. Let’s focus on our values for a second. What happens when we forget what we value? I believe the answer to that question is right in front of us. We already forget what we all value. We see what’s new in the world and think that we must have it. We keep our phones until a better one comes along even if the phone we have, works perfectly well. Consumerism is something that is tearing this world apart. We are too focused on material things instead of what is going on around us. Mindfulness, when practiced, can clarify our values. It makes it easier to distinguish between what we need and what we want. It is crazy to think that just by stopping to observe the surroundings and breathe, can help in such an astronomical way. Empathy is another way we grow from being mindful. Having more compassion and helping others boost a person’s morale. Altruism becomes more present in people’s lives as they practice meditation. Thus, leading to more sustainable acts. When we have empathy, we are more conscious about what is happening to the earth.
The difference between illness and wellness is simple. Illness has “I”. wellness has “we”. Marc Cohen talks a lot about illness and wellness in his Ted Talk about mindfulness and sustainability. We have cycles we go through to help us be more mindful. The whole week has been about mindfulness and sustainability. In the NO argument, it is conceived that we are not damaging the world as much as people say we are. We are consumers and buy what we want when we want it. In the YES argument, it is stated that consumerism is taking over our lives.
Responsibility mapping is something I had never heard of before this class. It was interesting to solve a problem in a fun and unique way. I like how it involved everyone and got the class thinking about wicked problems.