Mindful May

mindfully yours 1May is an important month for me. This is the month on our continent when Mother’s Day celebrates the three children and two children that have become an important part of my life.

It is also the month that I celebrate another year in this world and the many gifts and people that have added to my life in that time. It is a tradition with me. Somehow things have never had as great a meaning to me as memories. One of my greatest joys is to try to find ways to pass on those gifts and to thank some who have made a difference in my life.

As I contemplated what to do for this next month of writing, this month of gratitude was a natural fit. It is especially meaningful to me this year because I will be 57 and was born in 1957. There is something about those matching numbers that stand out to me and this is the last matching number available in a reasonably long lifetime. So, in my estimation, this makes it my golden birthday. I plan on celebrating the month by mindfully living each day and observing for the gifts in whatever each day holds.

Like all months, it will be a time of mixed emotions, of inner searching as well as joyful moments.  I am not going to try to make this month anything but what it will be. I am not planning on hanging on to any time worn clichés to chastise myself if I don’t feel wonderful about everything that comes my way. The fun of the month will be to look at whatever comes and find the gift it has for my life. I don’t think gifts only come in the wonderful moments of life.

Here is an example. A student I teach walked into class with all the tension that is so often held in his frame bristling all over him, but he was there. He was willing to risk involvement even though the desire for fight or flight read clearly in his features and stance.

I have built a place in my room for him and for other students that may just need a time out before they can come back and be involved. He hadn’t chosen to use it so I went on with the lesson. As we worked with the expressive activity of the day I could watch the tension fading from his body and the light coming back into his eyes.

It is a gift I see in many students each day. I am so thankful that I teach in a creative area — music — but also that I am a person who struggles with my own anxiety issues so that I can be empathetic to students who have the same struggle while at the same time still holding a respectful expectation of what they are capable of doing. For me, my own anxiety is a gift that helps me to be the best teacher I can be for these students.


Though the photo background is mine, this quote comes from a wonderful blog post called “The Gift of Anxiety: 7 Ways to Get the Message and Find Peace ” by Ariella Baston found at http://tinybuddha.com/blog/the-gift-of-anxiety-7-ways-to-get-the-message-and-find-peace/.




8 thoughts on “Mindful May

  1. dilemmamike

    Being the best teacher I can be is something we have in common. I don’t want to be their friend but to be respected so I give respect in all cases. I hope your birth month is awesome!

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      Thanks. Sometimes the balance line shifts depending on the need. I just ask what would have best helped in the There are no two children that can handle things in the same way.

  2. Rhonda on Purpose

    Linda, I feel that I am learning to somehow try to write more creatively through reading your posts. Right now I seem to only have time for detailing my day in a journal fashion, and am busy with assignments with which I put a lot of work into. How does one write more reflectively etc, etc. It’s probably giving oneself the space and grace to not take life so seriously. I love this post…I love your writing. Thank you.

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      Thank you, I needed your comment in just this moment as I need to reflect on something that is painful and seek the gift in it. I do take life seriously. I don’t know how to take it any other way.

      As I began to answer you here though, I realized that in my answer I found my gift for today so will link you to that post when it is finished. I truly appreciate the way you help me think Rhonda.

  3. Laura Hile

    It takes time and effort to think through life’s issues—writing, I’m learning, is a major key to getting my thoughts straight. You could do so in a private journal, and yet you’ve chosen to share freely as a gift what you’re learning. Thank you for that. What I learn about life by looking through your eyes is a lot.

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      I know that I am not alone in the things I experience, but I also know that often we feel so alone in the things we experience. The only way to break that syndrome is to step out. All my private journals only make a difference for me and don’t help develop connection. Though there are thoughts to keep there, there are things worth sharing. Thank you for affirming that it is worth it.


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