In this crazy world we live in, MINDFULNESS, is a concept bubbling up to the forefront. From the politics of our nation, to our everyday hectic lives, it is a time to concentrate; not only to focus on the matters at hand, but also to focus on what is important to us. I'm in the middle of a renovation on our house which has turned my whole family's life upside down. Nothing is where it is supposed to be, daily routines are altered, everything is under plastic, and it is very disruptive (but my family knows it will totally be worth it in the end). More importantly, there are family members struggling with illness, and some we have lost recently. It is incredibly important not to get weighed down by people's bad attitudes and the disruptive parts of our lives but to be mindful of all that is good and all that we have. One of my favorite people recently posted this quote, "Ships don't sink because of the water around them, ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don't let what's happening around you get inside you and weigh you down." That is what mindfulness teaches us. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment with an attitude of curiosity and kindness. Mindfulness has physiological effects; it can lower your heart rate, reduce stress levels and release chemicals in the brain to make you more alert and receptive. I have recently seen advertisements for mindfulness seminars for general adult classes and even a specific seminar geared toward attorneys.
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to photograph the Mindful Kids NJ Camp for children. With the onslaught of electronic devices and games not to mention the many social media platforms geared toward children, it is an important life skill to focus and to concentrate. While photographing the children, I could feel myself being more mindful just by listening to what was being taught. It is a good practice to hit the "reset" button and be in the moment. Mary Lea Crawley, the founder of Mindful Kids, is a fantastic instructor who is calm and patient, she emanates mindfulness. Check out her website www.mindfulkidsnj.com. I'm going to go take a few deep breaths and I encourage you to do the same!