Sunday, May 31, 2020
Mindful Minute with Kevin
You may know Kevin R. from 6th grade math, the volleyball court, After School Programs, or the Middle School Dungeons & Dragons club. He’s been practicing mindfulness (not a skill that comes easily to him) to keep all these balls in the air. Follow along as he invited us into his process, and shared weekly guided meditations.
Choose Your Practice
Week 7: Audio Component
Wow, this is my last entry of the school year. If you have read these throughout the months, or are just stopping by for your first time, I want to say thank you. Knowing there was a readership here made it so easy to keep writing (which in turn has kept me sane in this time).
We’ve accomplished a lot in our time together. We talked about the importance of breathing, what a body scan is and how you can use them to check in with yourself, what the difference between controlling your emotions and reacting to them looks like, how to hold hope in times of despair, and what to do when faced with setbacks. WOO! That’s a lot! Take a second and pat yourself on the back, this work isn’t “easy.”
I want to leave you with one last tip on mindfulness. If this is your first, second, or 300th time hearing about or thinking about mindfulness, know that it does not stop here. Simply possessing these tools does not give you the power of “eternal happiness.” Instead, it gives you options in times of inner crisis and even more in times of inner peace. You will forget these skills, you will let emotions get the better of you, you will have days where the anger comes out of nowhere and blindsides you. What matters in those times is the patience you afford yourself during it, and the perspective you keep after. Be patient, and always offer yourself a second chance. Especially when you think you don’t deserve it.
There is an image that has stuck with me for a long time that I want to share with you that, for me, sums up everything we have touched on this year. In Japan, there is a form of art called Kintsugi (Japanese for “golden joinery”). Kintsugi is all about mending broken pottery with a glue that’s mixed with gold dust. That way, when the pottery is fixed there is a visible golden line where the pottery had been mended. Usually, people want an invisible glue so that nobody will notice the failures and imperfections of the pot. Why then does Kintsuge opt for the ultra-visible gold paint? Because it is the philosophy of Kintsugi that our imperfections are what makes us who we are. We are not some perfectly sculpted, seamless piece of pottery but rather a vast network of mistakes and setbacks. That journey is the art, not the destruction of it. I imagine practicing mindfulness is like you are adding the gold dust to the glue, preparing your pottery for a beautiful future that celebrates its “broken” past. Remember that everyone is doing this, some bowls seem “more broken” than others. But with the right tools, attention, and love, what’s golden will always shine through.
Thanks again for joining me here. Have a present summer and remember to breathe.