Blog 2: What does your mindful journey look like?

What does it mean to be mindful? Can we be more mindful by performing little tasks such as holding the door a little longer than you usually would for a stranger, or recycling a can you would normally just throw away? Or does mindfulness run deeper such as changing your entire way of life by getting rid of all technology and becoming in tune with the world around you? I believe to be mindful is a journey that cannot happen over night. I think it starts with recycling the aluminum can and (if you are truly dedicated to becoming as mindful as possible) ends somewhere around being completely free of technology. How far you go on your mindfulness journey depends on your self-narrative. How you go about achieving mindfulness is a paradigm. My self-narrative of mindfulness is to just be more in-tune with my world around me. My paradigm to do this will be to cut back on the amount of time I spend on my phone (on Sundays my phone sends me a summary about how much time I spent on my phone that week and I hope to decrease it a little bit each week). Also when I am not on my phone I want to really take in what is happening around me. For example, on Friday afternoons when campus is less crowded than it is during the week I like to walk around and really take in the fact that I am going to this beautiful school and earning a college degree. I had heard of carbon footprints before, but I had never given mine much thought before we were encouraged in class to measure ours. My carbon footprint was average to slightly above average in the different areas measured. My self-narrative will now include being mindful of that footprint and working to reduce it in areas. My paradigm to reduce the size of my carbon footprint will include taking the bus more often to class (to cut back on the amount of pollution being put in the air by motor vehicles) and being sure to reduce my electricity use. For example, when I leave my house during the day I will be sure to turn my fan off and turn the AC up a few degrees. Professor Marc Cohen stated in his TED talk that for ourselves to be well the environment around us must also be well. On the other hand, the Mindfulness and Sustainability reading stated that we must first be well before we can make the environment around us well. I believe that mindfulness and wellness has no set rules on how it must be achieved. It is a personal journey that we must figure out on our own. We can use tools such as Professor Cohen vortex model of wellness and illness. Or we can practice mindful meditation as suggested in the reading. There is no right or wrong way to become more mindful. As an apparel merchandising major, I am aware the the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Water pollution is one of the biggest issues of the fashion industry. Harmful dyes are used to color almost all articles of clothing, then those pieces of clothing are rinsed and the dyes end up in natural bodies of water. I would like to investigate this problem further and maybe find maybe find a way to help eradicate the use of harsh dyes.

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