A Journey to Mindfulness...

It's Finally Here! BRAIN's Inaugural Blog!​

I have started this blog a million times. No seriously, I have written numerous intros and “first” stories, but I have yet to post anything to BRAIN or even attempt to write a second blog entry. Who knows, perhaps this will be just another failed attempt that sits in a word document on my desktop reminding me of one more thing on my to do list that never gets done. It gets started, many times over, but never done. How many things in my life fit that description, started but never done! Like daily yoga or that children’s book my mom and I keep talking about writing. So many ideas but not enough follow through. I find that I often use the “as soon as” excuse like as soon as these progress reports are done I will start that family newsletter, as soon as I finish this paper I will add that extra content to my website, as soon as the holidays are through I will start exercising and eating healthier, as soon as my masters work is over I will finally write that blog (wink wink), or my all-time favorite, as soon as things settle down… I would venture to say that many of you are shaking your heads at this last one, how many times have you said that very thing?! I know I say it ALL the time, but not anymore. Granite, I am sure I will utter that phrase in the near future and might even begin to convince myself that it’s a worthy enough excuse. Yet if my journey to understanding the brain, its inseparable link to the body, and my own life experiences have taught me anything it is that things will never settle down. There will always be one more thing to do, a deadline quickly approaching, or a stressful situation on the horizon. In fact, even when we think back to the “good old days,” “simpler times,” or even what we convince ourselves were “normal” times I have learned to realize that these are figments of our imaginations, our subconscious desire for calmness manifesting itself in our distorted memories. Because when I really think back, like truly reflect on the past, I see that those periods of time had their own stressors and my mind has just decided to omit those in my memory. Now before you think “woah, this is a major bummer! The last thing I need in my life is another hopeless dose of reality.” I beg you to hang in there, I promise there is an upside to this! Trust me, our world is filled with negativity and this blog is certainly not going to add to that! In all honesty this understanding that things will never “settle down” is inherently hopeful, promising, and positive! At this point I am sure you are thinking I have completely lost my mind but again, hang in there. Acknowledging this reality is a good thing because it makes our “as soon as” excuses null in void. We can no longer say “as soon as things settle down” because there is no settling down. When we understand this then it forces us to deal with our put-off wants, desires, and to-dos in the present moment. Again, I promise I am not crazy, I promise to share good news in this blog! And the good news of this realization is that there is a way to battle the stress and negativity of our realities in the here and now, it’s called mindfulness.

Before you go closing this tab on your browser here me out. Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word right now and you may be like me and thinking if I hear that term one more time I am going to go nuts! We know that mindfulness is helpful, that it is good for our mental as well as physical health, and that it supposedly does wonders with our kiddos, right? Right! But what is mindfulness really? How does one actually go about practicing mindfulness? Can a “real” person with a “real” life actually use and benefit from mindfulness? Well, in a way, those are the questions I wish to address with this blog. I am doing a bit of double duty here and plan on checking off “start blog” and “practice mindfulness” from my to do list at the same time. I know the benefits of mindfulness from a research perspective, but I do not know the benefits from a personal perspective. So, I plan on using these desires as a way to hold myself accountable. In order to write my blog, I have to implement mindfulness strategies in my daily life and one of those mindful strategies is reflection, writing my blog. See what I did there? It’s a win win! Bet you never would have guessed that I am a special education teacher, meaning I am an expert at if-then statements, guided choices, and meeting a million purposes in one task! Haha!

So, there it is, I am writing a mindfulness blog! One that will showcase my journey, step by step, will highlight my actual experiences and honest impressions, and will hopefully serve as inspiration or even a guide to incorporating mindfulness into your own lives. Because our kiddos desperately need us at our best, we deserve to feel our best, and I am a firm believer that we cannot teach or even recommend practices which we have not tried in our own lives. (And do not even get me started on the science which supports that last statement! Another time another blog.) I cannot tell you what this blog will look like in the end all I can tell you is that I promise it will be real, consistent (in some manner), positive, and hopefully enjoyable. Ready for the journey?

Becoming Mindful,

CB