Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#OneWord 2019 | Mindful

I have been thinking a lot lately about my #OneWord for 2019.

JOY was a great word for 2018, and I found JOY in lots of things and interactions.
I loved seeing the JOY on my 3 year olds face when we were playing, or he was discovering new things, or he got to "push my buttons" when getting ready for bed to make me talk in different accents.
I loved feeling JOY when my little girl was born.
JOY was felt when the family was together- my husband tickling our little one while the 3yo cuddled with me on the couch.
There were many times in my classroom when students learned a new song, or dance, or instrument part, or just had fun eating with me that JOY was present in the LU-E music room.

This year, now with 2 children, a new job, a new home, and more, I need to be more grounded.

My word for 2019, inspired by my 3yo, is MINDFUL.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. 

I am usually so reactive that I think 2019 will be a great year to step back and breathe.  

I need to be mindful of my own emotions- not that I don't want to FEEL big emotions, but that I will react to them in a way that is productive.  Whether that be channeling big feelings into a new project, taking 10 seconds (or 10 minutes) to focus on breathing, or even crying it out for a bit as a way to release negativity. I come from a family of yellers and stompers. We always let emotions out in a BIG, LOUD way. However, I find that if I focus in, breathe, and think about the strategies I already have in my "rest area" at school (like counting to 10 slowly, hugging myself or a stuffed animal, or stretching, etc.) that I am less stressed, can think of solutions to problems easier and I am happier all around.  

I need to be mindful of my family and how they are feeling and reacting. I hope to bring mindful strategies into my 3yo's life so that rather than hitting and kicking and screaming when he doesn't get his way, we can find solutions that work for him to calm down and communicate his problems. Maybe if the whole family has breathing time together, does yoga together, or just goes for mindful walks together, we will all be calmer and less stressed out in the new year. We need less tech and tv and more nature walks and play. 

I need to be mindful of my students. Their individual personalities, goals, backgrounds, and learning styles. 

I need to be mindful of my ability to say YES and push myself to step out of my comfort zone. 

I need to be mindful of my ability to say NO and realize when something will not be good for myself, my family, or my school. 

Again, from, I am encouraged because when it comes to mindfulness: 
  • Anyone can do it. Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn.
  • It’s a way of living.  Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.
  • It’s evidence-based. We don’t have to take mindfulness on faith. Both science and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
  • It sparks innovation. As we deal with our world’s increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.
In 2019 I plan to: 
~Take time each day to breathe before my 1st class, and after my last class leaves. 
~Make Gratitude part of my routine. I love these ideas from BUSTLE on how to Cultivate a Creative Gratitude Practice.
~Do my own Mindful Music Moments on the way to work. 
~Stretch, do yoga, and go on nature walks with my 3yo each week. 
~Begin each class with a short mindful moment- adding stretches into our warm-up routine. 
~End each class with a short mindful music moment where we listen to part of a song and focus in on our breath before we leave to complete the rest of the school day. Even just 30 seconds to a minute where the class can take time to breathe can be an amazing thing. 

Each of these are all small things, but I think they will make a big impact on 2019. 
Do you have a word for the year yet?? 

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