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A Mindful Approach to the First Day of Fall Semester: Like New Year's Day!

Last year, when I wrote this post, I said that the first day of the Fall semester was like Christmas morning, because I got to come down the stairs five different times to see the presents under the tree with  each of my new classes.


This morning, as I contemplate the new academic year ahead of me, it feels like January 1, New Year's Day. I find myself searching for new goals, new areas of particular focus that I would like to improve upon.


I would like to use the tool of Mindfulness to slow my reactions down and resist the temptation to judge, to be impatient with students who waltz in late, who ask questions that have already been answered six times, and who cannot seem to form a complete coherent sentence.  These students appear to be my teachers this lifetime. I know this because they really piss me off. 


I would like to use the tool of Mindfulness to stay in the present moment, to not get ahead of myself with concern for the future. I sometimes suffer from pTSD. This is a new diagnosis I invented based on a Case Study analysis: my own. It stands for Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder - the experience of anxiety caused by trauma that has not yet happened - except for in my own creative catastrophizing mind. I hope to live not only one day at a time,  but one life at a time - the one that is actually happening right now in front of me in this moment. And when you think about it, most "this moment right now" moments are pretty manageable.


I hope to use the tool of Mindful Self-Compassion to not take myself too seriously. I Comedy Sign
intend to be a compassionate witness to myself. I hasten to add that I want to use a humorous lens through which to experience myself as starring in my own Emmy Award-winning sitcom.  Through Humorous Mindful Self-Compassion, I can laugh at myself with a knowing smile of acceptance and I suspect this will help me to extend this benefit of the doubt to my students as well.


OK, I think that is a good start toward a good start. 


Let the academic New Year begin with lighthearted mindful awareness of this moment unfolding into the next. Throw open the doors to the school; I am eager and ready to get started!


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