I have been thinking a lot about mindfulness and its power in my world. My mind is a racing one. I often feel like I am holding back a team of horses when my mind gets going on a topic. And I love my mind for that urgency, that desire to figure it all out, to seek solutions to some of the biggest problems. In many ways, my mind is the basis of my identity.
But often this mind is too much. I have written a little about how my brain of mine has sometimes been my worst enemy and how I want to help others as I figure out how to manage my monkey mind.
I have been lucky to spend the past few months contemplating, well…contemplation.
This weekend I spent two hours teaching with my friend and colleague Jennifer. The workshop we designed asked the big question she and I are always trying to reconcile as teachers, mothers, partners, and thinkers: how do we hold onto the quiet mind we cultivate on our yoga mats when we go out into the world? I do not have the answer to that question. I am glad there are so many other people asking the question alongside me. Jennifer wrote an eloquent narrative of the time we spent together with the twenty students. I am grateful she is asking the same hard questions and that we get to facilitate a similar workshop again in 2016.
Meanwhile, the majority of my writing time has been filled up with articles and deadlines about writing about mindfulness. It reminded me of the times when I am driving like a maniac because I am late for my yoga class. Usually I can chuckle at the element of stress I feel when rushing to stillness. My writing life has felt similar these past few months as I research and push up against the sweet stillness of a deadline being met–almost a savasana for writers, that moment of quiet when the piece is no longer mine to hold up anymore.
With the world around us swelling with suffering, I am often thinking (there my mind goes again!) about how to usher my daughter into an understanding of the world without her attaching fear and anxiety to it. My articles about books that help children–and then an article for teen readers–helped me consider the ways we can develop coping skills in our young people. They will need them. If you would consider sharing these links so we can get the word out about the authors doing this important work, I would appreciate your help in this endeavor.
I found this video to be a balm for my saddened heart. As a parent, my desire to shelter my child from the sadness of the world will only go against what she needs to live in this world. The matter-of-factness of this video essay sums up why I have always been drawn to the French philosophers. I hope it eases your racing mind and hurting heart as much as it did for me.