As the years cycle by in my life, I have noticed that these short days approaching winter invite inquiry and reflection during the extra hours of dark and quiet.
I feel deep gratitude for the opportunity to share mindfulness with underserved communities. Always, there is deep inspiration, and I learn so much from the people with whom I work.
My experience is that mindfulness ripples out beyond an encounter with a single person or a small group. And often it grows in ways I could never have imagined.
At one local residential women’s shelter several years back, a SHINE participant who hadn’t looked at me or spoken a word during the first two group meetings approached me before the third session.
“Can I give you a hug?” she asked, with a broad smile on her face. “Of course!” I replied. “What’s it for?”
She described how she went to dialysis several times each week, and told me, “It’s a scary place. People are sick and sometimes die there. I used to get so anxious when I went there. Now, with that breathing thing you taught, I get so relaxed that I can even fall asleep during my treatment. Some of the people there asked what I was doing, and so I taught them. And my mom asked about the breathing and meditation, so I taught her too!”
Over the years, my students have been my teachers, as they share new ways these practices can enrich their world, and benefit those around them.
May we follow the old saying, “Each one teach one” and find ways to embody and share moments of mindfulness within the circles of our lives.
To what one breath can do,
Amy Bloom Connolly, Founder