Mindfulness Activity #35
I think it is safe to say that we are all getting tired of self-isolation and the discipline of keeping our environments and ourselves safe and clean. Today, I thought we would focus our practice on the concept of persistence.
I work with an amazing group of professionals and girls at an agency called POETIC. The Mission of POETIC is to equip girls who have experienced child maltreatment, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking to find their voices, reclaim their narratives, and persist forward. I thought, who better to consider as a model for persistence in our lives than the women and girls of POETIC. So, ladies, thank you for the inspiration for today’s mindfulness practice!
A bedrock principle of POETIC is that youth are not defined by their circumstances or their experiences, that each moment is fresh and holds possibility for movement forward. However, actualizing this is not easy or simple. It requires letting go of doubt and messages you have been told about yourself or that your mind tells you about yourself and the world that it’s too hard or you can’t overcome things. It requires not judging yourself in your sincere efforts. Change requires patience and determination, and lots of work. What is required to move forward is persistence. Simply put not giving up…sticking with it. Mindfulness, is one tool that helps POETIC girls to move forward towards creating the life that each girl wants to live.
Persistence refers to perseverance in spite of fatigue or frustration. Persistence has been measured and studied in psychology as a personality trait…something about a person ‘s temperament that is stable. However, recent research has demonstrated that mindfulness practice can increase a person’s willingness to persist in the face of difficulties. This, of course, makes complete sense when we consider that mindfulness practice is all about setting a task for one’s self and then catching yourself when you lose focus, and bringing yourself back to the task over and over with persistence and determination. When we practice mindfulness, we learn at least two things: 1) we train our brain to actually stay on task and connected to the present moment, and 2) we train ourselves, like an athlete, to persist despite frustration, fatigue, or obstacles. What great training for overcoming anything in life.
So today, sit tall and breathe, noticing any feelings fatigue or frustration take a few deep breaths and watch the brief practice on persistence.
For the rest of your day, and your life, remember that persistence can be developed. You just need to practice. When you have any frustrations or obstacles today, take a breath and keep at it without judgment, over and over until you overcome the obstacle.
I wish you good training!