Updated: Jan 16, 2020
My work with mindfulness and teaching a one credit Mindfulness Meditation class at the College of William and Mary and University of Virginia has me keenly tuned into the unbelievably busy schedule of college students. Their lives revolve around there always being one more thing to do, attend, complete, or plan. Yet, the endings of what was just completed never seems to settle or to land because of the need to look forward to what is the next thing to be finalized, delivered, completed, or attended in the very quick upcoming future. Of course, needing to think ahead is a great survival strategy for us, humans. However, in this 21st century, how and where can we choose moments to remember that even in the midst of doing, we can find a way to settle into being with what it is offering.
Taking my reflection from my college students, I attempt to connect the“being” with the “doing” into specific activities such as when I type and sit at the computer. I experiment with choosing different activities in which to "be" as I "do". In an interesting way, truly bringing my senses into the brushing of my teeth, or lathering my hair as I simultaneously feel the warmth of the water, is comforting. The rhythm of vacuuming the floor and watching the lines on the carpet or the crumbs being picked up helps me settle into the moment. These reminders bring me back into the truth that life emerges in these small moments. And more importantly, these small moments are “enough” . Yet, often I still find a deep pull towards the belief that it is only large chunks of time that can nurture and help me rebound. So, I go back to my students who so often are the teachers… they walk through and show up in the midst of so many responsibilities and expectations. They "do" and "be" as best as they can – finding spots, nooks, and places to claim as their space, their moment, as they enter into the doing and the being of their college lives. I feel incredibly fortunate to have such earnest teachers.