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I remember the disappointment I felt when September coincided with the beginning of working full-time post-college and not with the excitement of back to school shopping and all that implies. Fall holds in its crisp air the anticipation of a fresh beginning—a clean slate. Now, as a mother, I can relive this excitement once again with my children. I can even feel the charged energy of the impending first day and am craving the joy of possibility for that is what a clean slate is all about.
This summer I have found that as the first day of school approaches, my mind is getting more and more cluttered. Between planning my yoga class schedule and the kid’s after school activities for the year, organizing the house for the entourage of school papers and homework assignments, redoing my son’s room to accommodate the teen that he has become and getting in the last of the summer activities, I seem to have constant chatter in my head.
The noise in my head has muddled my mind—I’ve become more forgetful and reactive. But I know exactly what I need to create a clean slate, a state of possibility, and the key is meditation. I have found that meditating first thing in the morning helps to clear my mind and begin the day with more intention, focus and equanimity.
Taking the time to sit and get centered creates a calmness that carries me forward positively throughout the day. Meditating does not need to be complicated. Follow these instructions to find daily mindfulness.
1. Sit comfortably with a straight spine.
2. Close your eyes and bring attention to your breath. Notice the cool air passing into and the warm air passing out of your nostrils. Notice the different sensations while bringing your attention to each breath.
3. Return to the sensation of your breath if your attention wanders.
4. Start with 5-10 minutes once or twice a day gradually increasing your meditation to 20-30 minutes.
You don’t need new binders or backpacks to start the school year with a clean slate and the excitement of new possibilities. By clearing your mind of daily clutter you can create a fresh start everyday. Meditation might really be the breakfast of champions.