After spending all semester long researching the importance of mindfulness, meditation, awareness, and other holistic healing practices, I’ve come to the final conclusion that self- awareness and the awareness of one’s environment is an important aspect to help our generation create a better future. Leaders can combine their personal interests with a few of the methods and practices mentioned by the mindfulness project to make a profound difference in the world. The changes we can make to make a difference can start very small. The first step we can take is to shift our mindset and become more mindful of our own personal actions, our path in life, and creating a “seed” of change.
In our day and age, there is a huge disconnect in humanity. We have become so disconnected from each other and nature, and become more connected with our technological devices such as our laptops, smart phones, smart TV’s, even smart cars. We’ve become addicted to social technologies that have a tendency to keep us glued to our screens. These technologies tend to have negative effects on the youth of today and keep them in their “comfort zone”. As a result of heavy use of technology, we’ve become a social, yet antisocial society. Straying away from technology and becoming more connected with our own mind, bodies, and environments is essential to building a society that’s in harmony with each other and with nature.
As I’ve previously mentioned, practicing relaxing breathing techniques and becoming aware of your present state of mind and being without any outside stimulus has the power to shift your mindset from negative to positive. Practicing meditative breathing techniques has the power to shift your perspective and help you deal with difficult situations easier with a fresh mindset. This method has even been implemented into schools by another similar project called The Mindful Life Project. The Mindful Life Project has a vision of empowering students by providing them with the skills and tools they need to “improve self-awareness, impulse control, confidence, and resilience,” as stated in the project’s mission. I believe that by implementing meditation, breathing practices, yoga, and hip-hop classes to “at risk” students, it can improve the climate of the school environment and help all students become better members of society. I believe that every school in the nation should include a class dedicated to meditation and mindfulness into the curriculum to help students deal with difficult situations or anything that disables their school performance. If schools were to include something as simple as 1 hour of mindful meditation into their curriculum, it would lighten the school environment and help kids live healthier lives.
As college students, we desperately seek a perfect balance in our lives.
Sometimes all we need to help us keep pushing forward in life and make a positive change, is a beacon of light. The Mindfulness Project and its team is that beacon of light to those who seek it. This project holds yoga workshops to help people find the balance they so desperately seek in life. The Mindfulness Project team aims to build a sense of community through elaborate meditation retreats where people get a deeper understanding and wisdom from Thai culture by participating in walking, standing, sitting, and lying meditations. As I’ve mentioned in a few of my past posts, daily life can sometimes get the best of us and cause us to become anxious and stressed out. Anybody working in today’s complex school and business environment knows just how stressful life can really get, therefore it’s important to learn about breathing techniques and yoga, because it has the power to help us focus and balance our thoughts. Balancing our thoughts is extremely important when it comes to how we deal with difficult situations, starting from an early age. I’ve come to the realization that learning how to physically balance ourselves can help us keep an emotional balance as well.
One way we can “grow a seed of change” is to mend the disconnect between spirituality and science. I’m not saying you need to travel to a third world country such as Thailand and volunteer your time to create a sustainable living environment for other communities, but learning from the workshops held by The Mindfulness Project can help make huge changes in our communities. Many of the world’s problems come from the huge oppositions between spirituality and science. The Mindfulness project aims to guide modern society away from our destructive patterns of violence, egoism, disrespect, selfishness, etc. Through ancient teachings and recent discoveries in neuroscience, the connection between spirituality and science has the power to rewire our brains to achieve an “internal transformation”, which can then translate to an external transformation by becoming a seed of change, or a model for others to follow.
So, my whole idea is to show the importance of being mindful, right? Aside from becoming aware of yourself, the things you say, and the things you do, you should also be aware of your own body and the things you consume. Everyone should have a sense of mind-body awareness because we’re only given one body to take care of for the rest of our lives. The foods we eat play a big factor in the way our lives our structured, and our overall well-being. It’s important to listen to our body, when it’s feeling hungry, tired or sick. The Western food industry has proven to be detrimental to our health, leading to more cancers and diseases than ever before. To live a healthy lifestyle, as mentioned by The Mindfulness Project, is to develop sustainable strategies for the way we consume food. The Mindfulness Project applies scientific findings and methods of farming into one model, to teach participants how to create an organic farming system. In teaching people how to design their own land, grow their own organic foods, design long-lasting green buildings, repair environmentally damaged lands, produce their own power, it helps create a meaningful, authentic life with a sense of community. This means that through sustainable living, “all the world’s problems can be solved in a garden”.
In analyzing the vision of The Mindfulness Project, I’ve realized that self-awareness helps people develop their own unique personality, and helps them keep an open mind to our surrounding environments. Becoming self-aware, and pursuing a sustainable lifestyle exemplifies leader qualities that each of us are capable of having. In our day and age, more and more Americans are constantly contracting mental and physical illnesses that weren’t as prevalent in the past. To turn back the negative effects of “the American way” of living is to be open minded to learning about self-awareness, environmental awareness, and sustainability.