Merry Mindfulness & Have A Happy New Year

Is that silver bells or my meditation bell ringing?

We made it to the end of the year and the end of my first semester of college! Whether this means you’re getting a break from school, going on a vacation, or even taking winter break classes, I think we can all agree that we are thankful to reach the end of 2021. As we’re all ringing in the New Year differently, I can say that my experience in this course and through mindfulness meditation will have an influence on the rest of my life. But before I see the ball drop at midnight, let me recap on my experience!

An overall goal for our course is to bring a “compassionate curiosity” to viewing and understanding a wicked problem. This requires us to think with more than just our mind, but our heart and body too.

MIND: Since the last time I reflected on my engagement of curiosity for an understanding of a wicked problem with my mind, I’ve continued to expand my skills. Like I’ve said before, our mind is one of the most important and powerful weapons we have to help us form opinions on things like wicked problems. To form these opinions, we need to have an open mind about all sides of issues. This skill is something that everyone can work on throughout their life as they are faced with their own wicked problems. My skills in this have continued to grow as the course has gone on. Overall, I feel like a well educated student on wicked problems from not only my views, but others as well. As an already fairly open minded person, it wasn’t hard for me to take my existing skills and incorporate them into this course, but I believe that everyone can still grow. I genuinely believe that as this course has continued I have continued to grow, not only as a person, but within my mind and knowledge. Something that has helped me throughout my journey has been mindfulness practice. My continued use of mindfulness practice has allowed me to set aside time to look at wicked problems from opposing views. I am allowed to be brought into the moment on current issues. I believe that even 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation would help society bring light to more than their opinions. With this known growth with mindfulness meditation, I will continue to implement this after the course is over. Even though I’ve already seen a substantial amount of growth through these eight weeks, I know that I have the potential to grow even more.

HEART: The next way to bring compassionate curiosity on viewing wicked problems is through our emotions. Throughout our lives, current wicked problems pull on our heart strings causing us to be sad, stressed, angry, or confused. And honestly, I’ve felt all these emotions throughout the course. I can’t help but bring my emotions into these wicked problems when they cause so much damage to the world. Before this course, I thought that bringing emotions into situations was a bad thing. You often hear people complaining about thinking with your heart and not your mind as a bad thing. Now with being in this course, I have realized that this isn’t true. I strongly believe now that bringing our emotions into wicked problems can allow us to have a different perspective. Mindfulness practice has helped me with my emotions throughout class and life. Sometimes topics we discuss or personal things can cause me to have added stress, so having this time to be brought into the moment has been greatly beneficial. I am able to take my emotional thoughts and turn them into something constructive rather than something that hinders the process. I think with continuous use of mindful meditation, I’ll be able to grow this skill and use my emotions for good.

BODY: The last way to better understand a wicked problem is through our body. In my last blog post, I discussed how this area of understanding was where I struggled the most. With the course now coming to an end, I definitely think I’ve seen improvement. I’ve been able to gain a better sense of wicked problems somatically and I think mindfulness practice has been the reason. When we do our mindfulness practice during class, I’m able to be brought into the moment and really think about certain issues at hand. This feeling and connection goes all throughout my body and let’s me gain another sense of understanding. I still feel small during mindfulness meditation, but I’ve realized feeling small isn’t a bad thing. I’ve learned that with my thoughts and opinions I am still able to potentially have a big impact on society and even on the wicked problems we’ve been learning. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the one to find the best solution to climate change! Though this may seem impossible, I think that as a society we need to learn that we have a bigger impact than we think. I believe that one day we will live in a world where our hardest problems are solved if we’re all able to find the confidence to use our voice.

Another goal for this class is to “develop humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems.” I feel as though I’ve continued to make good progress towards this goal as this course has allowed me to change how I feel about the world around me, how I deal with issues, and how I want to see the future for society. I still believe that with our discussions in class I have been able to find compassion in everyone’s opinions on different situations. I think the biggest takeaway from this class is that not one answer is correct. I think this is something that most people need to realize, as most think their thoughts are the only right things. Once you are able to see both sides of an argument and their reasoning, I think we are able to gain a better understanding, a more humble and compassionate understanding. I believe that this is a skill I’ll likely continue to use for the rest of my life. I think rather than being stubborn and not wanting to see the other side of an argument, I should be open to what a possible other answer could be. In general, I think everyone should implement this skill in their lives and maybe we’d actually find some solutions to our social issues.

Though the course has come to an end, I believe that it will forever have an impact on my outlook to create positive change. I grew not only through my mind, heart, and body, but also in general as a person. I grew my knowledge on current issues and possible solutions. I was able to find a way to use my emotions for good. Most importantly, I was able to realize that my potential to make an impact is huge. Underlying all of this, mindfulness practice has been able to support my process. All of these things I have learned and acquired will continue to have a positive change on my influence on others and society. I will continue to use my voice, my thoughts, my opinions for good and hopefully one day change society!

Merry Mindfulness & Have A Happy New Year!

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