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S.T.O.P. for MINDFUL NEW BEGINNINGS

August 29, 2017

 

This morning I felt the cool air chill my body as I walked to my car. It was still dark, barely twilight at 5:45am and the thermometer read just 53 degrees. This prevue of seasonal change struck me  as I set out on this morning’s commute.  First a small, but; striking splash of red leaves across a backdrop of forest green, then an enormous flock of birds traveling in a southwest direction. 

 

As I entered the city, I saw flocks of a different kind, youngsters gathered on sidewalks and street corners. Then a school bus with flashing yellow lights and a big red stop sign. It was like a neon sign announcing the beginning of the new school year.

 

The stop sign reminder of the mindfulness practice S.T.O.P.

 

S.T.O.P.  is an acronym for:

 

S top and pause

T ake a few deep breaths

O bserve what is in this moment.

P roceed

 

What a nice reminder. As I paused, I could hear the voice of a meditation teacher, “mindful meditation is the practice of beginning again, over and over”. 

 

I settled in and connected with my body for a few deep breaths. I let go of the busyness of my mind and observed what was in this one moment.  I had a rich sense of awareness that with each moment comes an opportunity to begin again a fresh start like going back to school.  In each moment and with each breath, we are re-created, fresh, free from the past and un-enslaved to the future. 

 

The practice he