Summer is such a wild time of year in Australia, whether you are religious, secular, engaged in work, retired, have children, whoever and whatever you are – Summer is a busy time in our society. I have a lot of friends who engage in mindfulness practices, seeking to not be blown away in the frenzy of the season, and lately I have had cause to think a lot about the way the environments I participate in, and am exposed to, impact my own mind and overall health. Our world is made up of such a broad variety of humans, and every day we interweave our stories, our goals, and our experiences with those of others. I am not a religious person, and I do not need to be to often ponder what my impact is in this world, and consider how my life, and my energy will be remembered by my family and the Earth. I see the way my daughter observes me with her astute and brilliant eyes, I watch my son mimic my nature when he plays with his toys, and I consider the way that my being, and my knowing, impacts their being, and their knowing. I consider the way that my being, my attitude, my movements impacts the world of my partner, who journeys this wild path called life with me. How much broader then is our impact when we are teachers, engaged in shaping the experiences of students who have opened themselves up to be shaped, engaged and molded. This is not a responsibility I take lightly, this role of exchanging knowledges and journeying together in the learning environment. The same applies to the role of researcher, whose words may be relied on to inform policy, procedure, practices which impact the society which we engage with and belong to.I have been so slow to wake to the world around me, for too long I believed that we were all moving with altruistic goals, striving for betterment, and holding confelicity in our hearts. It was a sad day when I could no longer see the world through that lens. I feel embarrassed that it took me so long, but here we are. I have learnt the importance of the word ‘some’.
Some will stand and act with integrity, when eyes are on them, and when they are in private.
Some will not.
Some are leaders, not challenged by the abilities of those around them.
Some are not.
So now, as I seek to respond rather than react to various people and situations, the need for mindfulness is needed more than ever. I have always avoided labels, as generally speaking I find that labels are used to link to financial gain, whether it is to target you with sales, or similar. Mindfulness can be seen on every colouring book, so many Kris Kringle sale baskets, and seems to be the buzz word of the moment but as I consider the way I move through my days, and through the spaces I am honoured to be invited in to, it is mindfulness that guides my actions. Whether this is the way I respond to students, or the way I prepare Christmas activities and gifts for my family and friends – we do not get these moments to do again, so it is mindfulness that I seek to employ, and love and care that I seek to build my actions on.
In the next six weeks I have the most wonderful, and exciting events to share with my family. My daughter will be performing in her first true ballet recital, both of my children have their birthdays, there is Christmas, NYE with our best friends, and my own 30th Birthday. The ocean baths are calling our names, and salt water and sun are seeking to kiss our skins, this is not a season we will ever have again. Each and every year we are different, our children are a little more grown, and I never want to look back and feel that I was so distracted by work loads and other people’s agendas that I blinked and missed the magic of my own life.
With mindfulness, respect, and a willingness to negotiate, beautiful things can happen. For my family, who are multi-faith, multi-cultural, and have multiple ideas about the impending season I feel so proud and pleased that we have managed to craft a month of celebration that speaks to us, and continues the magic that Christmas always was for us as Children. I look forward to sharing in my blog the ways that I share culture with my husband and children, through our Advent Calendar – which we call ’24 days of culture’, and through the way we interweave German, Lebanese, Norse, Christian, Secular, and Islamic practices into our December to create an engaging and inclusive month of celebration for our whole family.