Written by Kayla Reetz, Yoga Teacher
"If we took a moment, right now, to think about the things we actually do mindfully, how many would there be? Do we need more than one hand?" - Kayla Reetz
Not too long ago, I was catching up with a colleague in the teacher’s lounge before the school day began.
I was discussing how my husband and I started counting our calories in a new app we recently downloaded.
As we were talking, another teacher walked in and said, “I use that app. It’s crazy how it makes you aware of what you put in your body!”
My retort was “Yeah, talk about mindfulness...”
He chuckled in surprise and agreement before heading out to his first class.
But, it really is crazy, isn’t it?
If we took a moment, right now, to think about the things we actually do mindfully, how many would there be?
Do we even need more than one hand?
As I sat in the teacher’s lounge later in the day to eat my lunch, I took a moment to glance at what the teachers brought to lunch and the overall atmosphere.
It was just as I recalled it from my public school teaching days - getting only the contractually-obligated 24 minutes to eat a lunch before having to prepare for my next class.
Shoveling food in my mouth as fast as I could- usually while also prepping lessons for the next week.
These teachers were much the same, although it was also nice to witness the camaraderie and jovial banter.
I lived that life once upon a time...
But what if I was taught to be more mindful? How would I be different? How would I treat each sunrise and sunset? Each gust of wind and ray of sunshine? Each laugh, cry, and burst of anger? How would you be different?
These words are with me as I write this article and go through my work day.
Another thing my husband and I are doing is listening to a book together.
I won’t share what the name of the book is because, frankly, the title isn’t appropriate!
But I will say, it speaks of how we get so caught up in the day to day, we forget two things:
That we are currently- right now- LIVING
And that, someday, we will be DYING.
The latter is often something people don’t like to be reminded of or even think about, but it is a fact of life.
And, unlike the Peverell brothers in Harry Potter, there is no escaping death, like it or not.
So, we have a choice.
We can “get busy living, or get busy dying”.
But maybe we can live more mindfully and notice HOW we’re living.
How are we spending and prioritizing our time?
When we walk to that copier, or that office, or even our car, what can we notice- not only externally, but internally?
When we walk into our homes, can we notice what it smells like? (If you're not afraid to... LOL).
In the video below, Anne will guide you through an exercise called "Mindful Walk".
In my life, I know there were many moments when I said to myself some version of “when this happens, I am going to do this or that..."
Maybe that's why one of my favorite quotes from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is, “So much life is lost in waiting.”
How many times have I looked back and wished I had jumped sooner and tried the thing?
Yeah, it may have failed, but I would have learned SOMETHING.
And now, I am simply trying to enjoy the moments in my life - the easy and the challenging.
Remembering that each moment offers lessons and gifts just the same.
I am choosing to be mindful of how I LIVE.
And, when my time is up, I hope to greet death as the last Peverell- with open arms and an awareness of what I leave behind instead of what I wish was there.
So, what is the thing you have really wanted to do, but have been making excuses for?
I bet there is one thing that popped in your mind right away.
So…what are you waiting for?
In closing, I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs...
Are their times in the day you wish you could just stop and breath?
Check out our Classroom in Balance Curriculum - 100 days of mindful activities for your classroom - available in print or a part of a digital pack featuring videos for each activity!