December 2018 Newsletter

In this time of year of giving and receiving gifts, I have been reflecting on the how some of the greatest gifts can be so simple. The light that passes through swaying pines, a tender hug or warm smile, the invigorating cool air on an outdoor hike. Meditation and yoga can enhance our experience so that the most ordinary and simple things can be received in an extraordinary way. But, how do we experience life in such a way, open to see the gifts all around us (and within us)? As little as a few minutes a day of focused breathing can support greater clarity and openness to the gifts all around.

Seeing With Fresh Eyes

Close your eyes, and take three full, slow breaths into your belly.
Allow for your shoulders to soften.

Begin to notice your breath at your nose. What is the temperature? Can you become aware of it, without altering it in any way? If your mind drifts, it's completely OK, as soon as you notice, gently bring your attention to the feeling of your breath right at your nose again. Hold your attention as much as you can on your breath for the next 2-3 minutes.

Begin to open your eyes slowly. Keep your body as still as you can and continue hold your attention on your breath. Look around the room- at the colors, lighting, shadows. Is there anything you haven't noticed before in this room? See if you can find three things you have not noticed before. With fresh eyes and as you begin to move again (maybe slower than before), see if you can continue to be aware of the small gifts and intricacies within the present moment- taking in what you see with new eyes.
If you are new to meditation, this may take some practice and getting used to, but a few minutes a day of pausing and slowing down to notice your breath or surroundings, just may lead to more unexpected moments of joy and delight- what a gift!
Upcoming Workshops
Mindfulness and Self-Care for Caregivers and Educators Workshop

Saturday, January 26, 12-2pm

Riverside Yoga
2 Titcomb St, Newburyport, MA

We will explore the tools of mindfulness and yoga for resilience, clarity, and ease in the lives of caregivers. This workshop will include gentle yoga, meditation, discussion, and time for journaling. 
All levels are welcome. 
Leave feeling rejuvenated and empowered before moving back into routines and into the Holiday season.

$30, for pre-registrants who pay before December 1
$40 on December 1

Take $10 off your first meditation session
Valid through Feb 1, 2019
Mindfulness for Educators Corner
Classroom Activities
If you missed this video in our last newsletter...

These four high school students used their mindfulness practice to battle their experiences of depression. They learned to take pauses to breathe, make friends with the present moment, reflect on and connect to themselves, feel gratitude, cultivate creativity, and discover freedom from their critical inner voice.

“Into Light” was created by Mindful Schools graduate and filmmaker,  Julie Bayer Salzman .
www.mindfculschools.org

Check out #Simplegifts Instagram posts below, each day through January for heartfelt moments of inspiration!