Confession: I haven’t kept a written journal in years. But my heart never forgets a single breath. I am now in my last semester of college, and needless to say this is a big time of reflection for me and my fellow college seniors across the country. In that spirit, I have made a pledge in my last semester to be more mindful, to be grateful for the present moment I have as this chapter in my life comes to a close in a few months.
In this first journal, I ask you to first be mindful of your breath. Here is a quote from Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh on the subject:
“The first practice I learned as a novice monk was to breathe in and out consciously, to touch each breath with my mindfulness, identifying the in-breath as in-breath and the out-breath as out-breath.
When you practice this way, your mind and body come into alignment, your wandering thoughts come to a stop, and you are at your best.”
Take a moment to either write out, or simply reflect on the following silently to yourself:
- As you breathe in, ask: How does it feel when you breathe in? Can you feel any places in your body that are holding tension? What effect does breathing in have on your body? What are you grateful for in this moment?
- As you breathe out, ask: How does it feel when you breathe out? What do you release physically when you breathe out? What do you release emotionally when you breathe out? What effect does your exhale have on your body? What are you grateful for in this moment?
I urge you all to go within, and to enrich your college experience with deep and fearless self reflection.
What do you think?
Did you reflect on your breathing? Have you been mindful today? Share your reflection with us in the comments section below.