Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Shovan.

Lucretius just presents this marvelous and important idea that what we are made of will make something else, which to me is very important. There is no nothingness — with these little atoms that run around too little for us to see. But, put together, they make something. And that to me is a miracle. Where it came from, I don’t know. But it’s a miracle, and I think it’s enough to keep a person afloat.

Mary Oliver in an interview with Krista Tippet of On Being.

I was listening to On Being with Krista Tippet, an old podcast of an interview with Mary Oliver from 2015. The episode repeated the week of Mary Oliver’s death in January of this year. Listening to Mary Oliver makes me feel I am in the presence of a wise yogi.

The practice of writing poetry, I am learning, is an exercise in mindfulness. To be open to the universe of words and to put them down on a page is a gift. Then there is the renewing of the words as you revise, reorder, read aloud to a writing group, and go at it all again.

This poem came from all this listening and doing the work of the morning.


If we could make of everything
a sacred movement–

Digging in the deep mud
watching the earthworm squirm.

Painting on of pale eyeshadow,
touching my face with gentleness.

The cat is purring a prayer.

Wind chimes are ringing a hymn,

And here I am,
lifting my coffee mug to my lips

Even the cicadas are laughing.

Margaret Simon, draft 2019
Image by Ravi Kant

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge


In the middle of the night, an Amber Alert alarms on my cell phone.  I put on my glasses, checked the phone, and saw something about a 1979 white Cadillac… I went back to sleep.

At morning recess shouts and screams enter the hallways.  I close my door.

The bell rings, my students enter, visibly stressed, breathing differently, heavier.

We talk about it.  One says, “I’m so tired of all this bullying.  I just want people to get along.” Her eyes tear up.  I offer a hug.

Another student says, “Let’s meditate!  I need it this morning.” Blankets and pillows come out.  Breathing slows as we imagine the stress leaving our bodies.

We breathe slowly in silence for 4 minutes.

We begin the work of the day, reading and writing.

I don’t have any answers for the fears, the cries, the bullying, but I can offer a safe place of mindfulness.  It’s something.  Some days it’s everything.


Note: My student Faith wrote about the fight in this Slice of Life post. 

For meditation, I use Mindful Kids, a box of kid-friendly meditation cards by Whitney Stewart.  Available on Amazon.

Mindful Kids


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Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.


Developing a mindset for presence is difficult in these busy fall days.  I am adjusting slowly to the shifting of gears three times a day as I travel from school to school.  I use the car ride to reflect on the last class and prepare for the next.  I’ve got the time down so that I’m not rushing.  I’ve noticed on the sign-in sheets at my schools that my time is the same every day even without my paying much attention to it.


EnneaThought® for the Day

Type Two EnneaThought® for November 11th

How can you fully experience your Presence here and now? Observe the many thoughts that pass through your awareness without becoming attached to any of them. (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 47)


This week I’ve been practicing mindfulness and meditation with my morning group of kids.  They looked forward to this.  But Friday was Friday and their little busy minds just would not relax.  Eyes were opening, mouths were smiling, feet were fidgety.   So after the timer dinged, I asked my students to open their journals to free write about the word ripple.  I selected the word from the mindfulness card that said to imagine dropping a stone into the water and watch the ripples.  Adding this layer to the meditation practice brought my students to a vulnerable place.  I’m learning that when we open up our classrooms to the experience of mindfulness and safety, emotions can arise.  We have to be ready to treat them with gentleness and kindness.

Focus on nothing
everything becomes clearer
morning mindfulness



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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.


We’ve been talking about mood lately, in reading and in writing. I pre-ordered a box of mindfulness cards, Mindful Kids by Whitney Stewart. They arrived last week.  I started to use them along with meditation first thing in the morning.  I wasn’t sure how a group of various ages would respond to the concept of meditation.  So far, I’ve been pleased.

I pulled a card from the Mindful Kids box and the instructions were to draw a picture of your mood.  I asked my students to select a color that depicted their mood. I talked about the importance of being in touch with what you are feeling.  Each response was as different as the kids in the room.

Dawson, 4th grade, said the picture on the right is how he felt when he came to school. On the left is how he feels in our class.


Austin, 6th grade, wrote a key to his color and image choices.

We turned off the overhead lights and sat in a comfortable position. I turned on the Insight Timer app, and we were silent together.

This was a beautiful and thoughtful way to begin a Monday morning, a Monday after another mass shooting, a Monday of a soft lockdown, a Monday in new time.  I am coming to believe more and more in the face of these troubling times, I need to create a safe place.  A safe place for expressing your mood, speaking your truth, and creating peace.

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

For Spiritual Thursday, we are writing about each other’s One Little Word for 2016. Today we are exploring Violet Nesdoly’s word, Mindfulness.


My mind is full
like the bayou after a long rain
that today blows wild
waves, cold and moving.

My mind wants to rest
like the dog at my side
snoring softly,
warm and content.

My mind seeks to understand
like that student who questions
and questions, driving me
to stop and think.

My mind is aware
of light coming through the window,
a spotlight on my hands,
open and close.

My mind turns to you
like the wind chimes chanting
Om mani padme hum
carries me across the rough water
to a place of peace.

Mindfulness, much like my own One Little Word present, means to “be still and know that I am God.” I sing this mantra over and over, making my mind clear to notice the spirit within me, to notice that I am not alone, to notice my love is enough. Stillness leads me to understanding. Presence to mindfulness.

Morning birdbath by Margaret Simon

Morning birdbath by Margaret Simon

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Follow this link to read more spiritual journey posts.

Follow this link to read more spiritual journey posts.

Holly Meuller invites us to reflect on our spiritual journey every Thursday. Today’s theme is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is like the weather.

Here in South Louisiana, the summer daily forecast is the same every day. Clear sunny skies in the morning turning to clouds and thunderstorms in the afternoon.


My mind is like this weather pattern, clear in the morning.

Take a walk.

Sing Praise.

Open my mind to a new day…

Morning clear sky over Bayou Teche

Morning clear sky over Bayou Teche

As the day rolls on, heat rises, worries cloud my vision.

But even as the storm forms and lightning flashes, I keep my mind on the sky.

Find the rainbow.

Watch the sunset.

Find the beauty in the ending as well as in the beginning.

Storm cloud sunset made with Painteresque app.

Storm cloud sunset made with Painteresque app.

And don’t forget to wonder along the way.

Made with Canva using my own image.

Made with Canva using my own image.

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I get a weekly writing prompt from Poets and Writers called The Time is Now.  This week’s nonfiction prompt was as follows:  “In Bird by Bird (Pantheon, 1994), Anne Lamott’s classic instructional treatise on writing and life, the author writes: “Writing a first draft is very much like watching a Polaroid develop. You can’t–and, in fact, you’re not supposed to–know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing.” Keeping this in mind, write the beginnings of an essay whose direction and ending you don’t yet know. Start small, focusing closely on a single place, person, or incident, without thinking ahead. Then keep going: Allow the writing tell the story, and see what develops.”

This morning was a beautiful summer morning.  After walking my dog, I sat on the back deck eating my breakfast and drinking coffee.  A cardinal hopped into a nearby tree and starting singing loudly.  I wrote as I listened.

The red bird calls
from the crape myrtle branch
while the cat prowls,
Tee who, tee who, tee
who, who, who, who

He flutters higher into the cypress tree.
The cat jumps in, crouches
in the valley of trunk and branch.
The cardinal call is echoed across the water–
a conversation for soul mates
staccato notes in harmony
with the rising song of cicadas

As the breeze blows, the wind chime
joins the tune. I am the audience only
writing alone while
June rises with the sun
dancing with patterns on the bayou.
Cerulean sky domes the shapes of trees,
a horizon to this landscape.

Thich Nhat Hanh tells me to be mindful of the moment,
to tune in to my breath, in and out.
This moment of mindfulness
full of sounds, the cardinal and his mate,
makes me wonder
of the Almighty Hand
who created my world and guides my breath.
How am I so privileged to be here?
I hear this song so clearly;
I feel the breeze so softly,
an embrace from God,
my everlasting mother.


Audio of Morning Song

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