No more visitors in our empty, COVID-19 apartment, 2020
It turned out that the workshop changed my life significantly. Now, years after that, when we are prisoned at our houses due to COVID-19, I remind myself to practice all seven pillars to stay calm, happy, and thankful for what I keep receiving from life every day. I pass the knowledge to my daughter and husband as well.
Remote Learning, March 2020
Spring break, 2020
Remote Learning, April 2020
Remote Learning, May 2020
Back to heavy-duty masks, Fall 2020
I will list the pillars that form the core of mindfulness and share my reflections.
- Non-judging: That’s fairly easy. As an educator, I practice this every day with the families of my clients. I cannot possibly know or even understand what each caregiver and child experiences and how this affects the choices they make in their daily lives. My starring role is to support and navigate them towards their goals, not to make judgments about what they have accomplished.
- Patience: Nowadays everyone needs to work on that one, especially when we are stacked in front of a computer for hours, losing an Internet connection, shooting technical difficulties, missing the zoom meeting, kept on hold, dealing with household noise, smiling to the camera, and so on, so on. I have to continue making more visible progress in that area.
- Beginner’s mind: Is an attitude easy for me to nurture. I am curious about my work and my life and love discovering what each moment brings without preconception. I do find a miracle every day in many things.
- Trust: This is tough especially if it is related to my child's future education. Do I trust my mayor, governor, Department of Education? I am so scared about my daughter’s new high school, new admission criteria, whether she will get to a proper school. Nothing is certain these days nether for me or my clients’ families. Nevertheless, mindfulness, particularly our breathing teaches us that after every inhale comes an exhale. I can trust in my breath, and then in my desire for assisting children, and my sense of wonder, and the strength of our teamwork, and the love I have for my family and clients.
- Non-striving: For the parents of children with special needs, not striving for better, most effective treatments and practices all the time is near impossible. But mindfulness reminds us to focus instead on every moment as it is, without always thinking about the next step. After all, even when my 13-year old daughter tells me I’m wrong again and don’t know anything that she is doing, she is asserting me in her independence, something I dream about when she was small, when in elementary school. I will not strive so hard to be needed for a lifetime.
- Acceptance: Anything but accept failure, a missed zoom meeting, hurt feelings, broken dish... Just to remember that tomorrow is another day, hopefully, a better one.
- Letting go: This is the hardest part of the mindfulness training for me. Letting go of grief for a lost sister, a wave of anger for leaving the kids behind, bitterness, disappointment, and expectations are hard. It hurts because I hold onto them even though I know that if I cannot let go, I will not fully share this wonderful life with my family, incredible friends, or my patients. I just have to practice the song more and more: “Let It Go, Let It Go…”