Several times this holiday weekend, I had the honor of watching an extraordinary, enormous eagle soar above my head, over the water, above the trees. Each time it made an appearance, I would stand and marvel at just how little effort the majestic creature exerted as it made contact with the next updraft. She let the wind to do all the work. Don’t misunderstand me, I could see that she played a role in flight — minor adjustments of her body position and a few, intentional swipes of her massive wingspan — but the draft was responsible for everything else.
The relationship between bird and air, seamless.
Everywhere else I looked, smaller birds fluttered here and there. Some flapped their wings double and triple time to ride the same lakefront gusts. Chuckling to myself, I imagined these smaller birds as illustrated characters in a cartoon. Given human characteristics, Nathan Lane would surely provide their stammering voices. They’d scurry around, and of course have dangerously high blood pressure. Each of them assured that, if they stopped their hustle even for a moment, they would spiral downward to the ground.
I’ve had times where I feel like one of these little birds, spinning my wheels and expending way too much energy, just trying to make things happen, making sure I don’t miss my chance. Can you relate?
If only I could figure out which way the wind was blowing, I could adjust myself and get where I need to be. Maybe I can just fly faster, higher, harder, more stylishly… Then I could connect with the perfect situation, open the right doors, impress the right people.
Yuck. What a paralyzing, fear-filled mind storm. Just STOP.
Truth-The same wind that carries me is the very air that I breathe:
Each inhale is life-giving.
Each exhale is an act of trust that the next breath will come.
In this awareness, the relationship between me and Divine breath is seamless.
In this awareness, like the eagle, I am free:
Free from fear.
Free from ego.
Free to learn.
Free to be.
My Year of Mindfulness in Education is a series of blog posts tracking my personal commitment to explore the practice of mindfulness over an extended period and faithfully record my journey along the way. My role as an instructional leader is the lens through which I examine the benefits of this discipline, but my larger hope is that this simple practice be adopted by educators on a larger scale and then incorporated into social/emotional lessons for use in the classroom.