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The Et Cetera

New Year's resolution: Mindfulness over matter

Relaxed woman practicing meditation at home at night, she is sitting in the lotus position on the office desk
By Kaitlyn Moore

New classes, familiar stresses, late nights, family obligations, long hours spent at work — it all gets a little crazy, doesn’t it?
We always have so much on our plates that most days we don’t even get to admire the fine china we’re dining out on.
Our appetite for life is snuffed, and it feels like every dish we have is moving too fast to be enjoyed.
Too many days we forget to stop long enough to relish in the journey that we’re on.
How would our lives be different if we learned to admire the little things? Instead of making big resolutions that we won’t keep anyway, why not try something smaller but more effective?
This is where mindfulness comes in, and why it should be on your New Year’s resolution list.
When you hear the term mindfulness, you probably think about monks levitating in high temples on distant peaks.
Or maybe you think of a limber yoga instructor who’s intently focused on perfecting her tree pose.
But the truth is, mindfulness is not exclusive to people based on occupation, location, religion or anything else.
You don’t have to be a master in martial arts or an old samurai to practice it in your life.
If you are one of those things, please contact me because I have questions. If you’re not then you should keep reading.
Mindfulness is about being aware of the world around you in the present moment.
It’s not about tomorrow or yesterday, but this exact second, as your eyes travel along this line of text and your mind-sponge absorbs these eloquent words.
It’s about learning to enjoy the exact second that you’re in and finding beauty in the smallest things.
We often take for granted the people and places around us, too absorbed in our thoughts to give them the attention we deserve.
Think about someone you care about.
If they disappeared at this moment, what would be the last thing you said to them? Would it truly articulate how much they meant to you? Probably not.
Being mindful in the tiny moments throughout our day can help us reach our big goals or mighty New Year’s resolutions.
Instead of saying “I will no longer eat sugar, ever!” we can be realistic and say, “Whenever I have sugar, I will truly taste and enjoy it. I’ll be mindful of what I am putting into my body.”
Practice mindfulness this year and make it a priority.
Let people remember more about you than a phone in your hand or the top of your head.
Take the small moments and enjoy them for what they are.
Walk to class without headphones in, just listening to the birds and being thankful for the air in your lungs.
Hug your friends closer, pay attention more, tell people how you feel, blast your music and do all the things that others consider a small moment.
Don’t miss these moments, because in the end that is what makes up our lives.
Kent Nerburn says it best:
“We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware — beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.”
So, go into 2019, live in these moments, and enjoy every second of it.

— Kaitlyn Moore is a political science major and Et Cetera contributor

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