“Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Praise to Thích Nhất Hạnh for his wisdom through simple words! His work is amazing, btw.
A couple weekends ago, I took a trip with some fellow remotes to the countryside of Spain for a collaborative weekend focusing on one love and mindfulness. There were fourteen of us, each with our own wisdom and gifts to offer the group, and we stayed in this gorgeous castle-style Airbnb in the middle of wine country.
We spent a weekend sharing our own perspectives on mindfulness, the power of calm, the importance of body language and the words we use, and how to use breath to reconnect us to the present moment. Each one of us led a lesson. I was lucky enough to teach a yoga class focusing on body awareness and a guided meditation. We cooked together, dined together, spread acts of kindness throughout the city of Tarragona, and laughed in joy of being together.
While we are all part of Remote Year, many of us had never met before, but we spent hours in deep, vulnerable conversations. We shared secrets, held each other close, and encouraged each other to grow. We laid underneath the night sky, watching as gorgeous shooting stars streaked across the milky way, and listened to each other’s stories.
It was a magical weekend, one that I believe will stay with me for a long time. However, at the end of the workshop, we had to make a commitment: to carry what we have learned together to our communities and spread the love and mindfulness we had created. This is not an easy task, but we brainstormed on how to keep this magic going.
What is mindfulness?
This was a question that we all reflected on during our weekend retreat. Many of the responses were: being present, experiencing my breath, enjoying the views, etc. Amelia shared, “Mindfulness is the calm in a crazy tornado of anxiety.”
Carolann said, “Mindfulness helps me create space in an overcrowded, busy world (I couple it with minimalism). It’s my one-two power punch!” Often times, we get swept away into the craziness around us and it can be a challenge to focus our minds. She continues, “When I first heard of Mindfulness I thought it was stupid. I knew I was busy, overstressed, overworked and running at the speed of sound. I thought this was normal until I started to fracture. It’s not unusual to think that it’s a nothing practice. Please be open minded; it just might change the way you live.. For the better!”
I have mentioned this in blog posts before. Often times, there can be eye rolls or chuckles when you mention focusing on breath or trying meditation. It seems pretty unlikely that these simple steps can fix the mental struggles that seem to be plaguing your daily life. However, it is not just the latest hippie trend! Science is backing up the need for mindfulness.
In fact, one of our remotes, Rob, has an incredible online program called the Power of Calm, which clearly illustrates the connection of stress and our health. He gives simple, but powerful explanations of how damaging stress can be to the body and how importance it is to establish a mindfulness practice focused on calming the body and mind.
Yoga was what originally led me to mindfulness practice. Focusing on the combination of breath and body movements calmed my brain in such an unusual way that I had never experienced before. It was exactly what I needed.
However, yoga is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay! I wanted to create a fun way to encourage y’all to add some mindfulness to your lives.
Join me on the fun challenge to add more mindfulness to your life and maybe win a book!
I love challenges! Especially when those around me are doing them too. I instantly thought about sharing some of the things I learned through a fun challenge for my fellow Earharts (the Remote Year group I belong to). Mindfulness Bingo just seemed like a fun way to challenge everyone to try something new!
A few days after creating the challenge, I spoke with my mom on the phone about adding more mindfulness to her life. I joked that she might as well join the challenge I had given to my RY family. At that point, I figured, why not share the challenge with my friends and readers?!
I have created a bingo game with 25 mindfulness “challenges”. They are all relatively easy to do and I have given clear explanation in my Bingo Info Guide (below). This challenge can help start your own mindfulness practice or just build some awareness of what mindfulness is.
PLUS: you can enter to win a prize 🙂
I am giving away a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment.
It is really easy to enter. Simply complete some of the challenges on your bingo card, completing as many bingos as you would like. Then, send me an email and let me know what you learned or about some of the experiences you had and attached a picture or screenshot of your bingo card. For every bingo you complete, your name will be entered to win the book. (Psst… I trust you, so play fair). My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The challenge ends on September 30, 2017!
When chatting with my mom, I also talked to her about how cool it would be to get my young siblings interested in mindfulness. They are only 6 and 8, so they are pretty attached the their ipads and completely unaware of the world around them. Although this bingo game isn’t included in my challenge, I thought I would create a fun way for parents to share the challenge with their kiddos.
I encourage you to come up with family prizes for each bingo that you complete. Perhaps do each challenge as a family and make it a unique part of your time together. Complete one bingo – let’s go get ice cream or have family game night! Make it fun and challenging. If you need ideas for the challenges I suggested, check out these options on Pinterest.
Questions?! Ask away! I am here to be your mentor and guide through this challenge. I am so excited to spread this practice.
So much love, Taryn <3