This concluding post marks my 11th post of this semester for my weekly column, Mindfulness Monday. The two biggest takeaways that I have discovered as a mindfulness columnist are 1) You don’t have to be meditating just to be mindful. Any situation is an opportunity to introduce mindfulness, and 2) nothing is permanent.
My mindfulness journey has surely been a spectacular ride. My role as a columnist has not only allowed me learn and grow as a writer, but also meet so many inspiring individuals along the way. Throughout the journey, I was able to explore the mental wellness community on campus and beyond, as well as document some snapshots of my life through the lens of mindfulness. It was by far one of the most meaningful activities that I’ve ever devoted myself to doing.
In the beginning of the semester, I set out to explore what mindfulness means and how it relates to our daily lives. Although I wouldn’t say that I’m now a mindfulness “expert,” I’ve definitely gained a lot of invaluable insights, all of which have helped me grow and develop as a person. One of the biggest takeaways of my mindfulness journey is the idea of flow– the idea that everything is temporary. And I can’t stress just how important this idea had been in helping me get through the semester.
When we talk about mindfulness, we often associate that idea with nature. And the image that immediately pops to mind is oftentimes that of a yogi meditating in nature. Although we can surely achieve the state of mindfulness when we mediate or do yoga, what I have learned is that we can be mindful in just about any activity, if we choose to.
Mindfulness is a mindset we can use to go about living our daily lives. We can be mindful in the way we eat, in the way we read, and in the conversations we make with others. This means that we are engaged and actively tried absorb ourselves in those moments and experiences. Yet, the beauty of the mindfulness idea is that we don’t necessarily have to be “mindful” in every exact moment. The world is essentially fluid and dynamic in nature, and we are free to both wander and lose ourselves in this world and in our own thoughts. As long as we’re able to find meaning in the things that we do and give ourselves the space to relax and wander, we are mindful.
I’m very grateful that I was given the opportunity to explore this very concept of mindfulness. The simple reminder that things in life come and go has given me a lot more personal freedom to explore, learn, fail, grow, and move on. Whenever I went on Canvas to check my grades, for instance, I was always reminded by the thought that all those grades are temporary. In fact, there is nothing in life that is permanent; there is nothing in life that stays forever. Think winter breaks, embarrassing moments, relationships…etc. There is really nothing in life that is solid or fixed. And that is how mindfulness has helped sustain me throughout the semester. I have learned not to get too attached to my own failures, mistakes, rejections, and troubles. It is also because of mindfulness that I’ve come to fully embrace myself as a work in progress. Instead of striving to achieve perfection every day, I strive for mindfulness. I strive for meaning. I strive to live my life according to my own values and set my own pace.
My experience writing for IMPACT as a mindfulness columnist this semester has surely taught me a lot more than just a basic understanding of mindfulness. It has also taught me how mindfulness is a living philosophy in which every person can define and internalize in their own way. As I conclude my final post, I would like to thank my readers and hope that you all enjoyed reading about my mindfulness journey as much as I enjoyed reflecting on it.
Even though this is the last article of the semester, I encourage further exploration and incorporation of mindfulness beyond the conclusion of this column. I wish you all the best with your finals and papers. Remember, nothing is permanent. Your struggles are temporary. And so are grades.