At camp, we frequently took little mindfulness breaks dubbed “Mountain Moments”, in honor of the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains right in our backyard. Even in such serene surroundings, we often find ourselves forgetting about the beauty around us, hurriedly caught up in day-to-day tasks or our own heads. So, after a hot and sweaty game of world cup soccer, or a tough BenFit on the track, we’d take a quiet moment to reconnect with our picturesque neighborhood, building a better sense of appreciation for our summer home.
It was a wonderful opportunity to slow things down and give our minds a little rest.
Since few of us live at the base of a mountain range, taking a “Mountain Moment” during your day might not be very practical. So, I encourage you to create your own moment! It will help bring that sense of gratitude and ease you felt on Storke Field into your life at home!
Start by picking your “mountain”, something you encounter every day to cue you to take this moment to yourself. There are plenty of “mountains” to choose from! If you do live amongst nature, that can be a good place to start. A stream you pass on your way to school, an epic tree in your neighborhood, or a colorful flower in your yard.
You don’t have to limit your options to nature. You can choose an interesting photograph or painting, for example. Or maybe a sound will cue your new moment. Maybe the final bell of the school day can begin a moment of appreciation for FREEDOM!! Whatever you chose, make sure it’s something you encounter every day, so that you can make it a consistent part of your daily routine. Consistency will make this moment start to last.
Enjoy your moment in whatever way serves you best. I suggest taking a few deep breaths to start. In through your nose and out through your mouth. From there, you can continue to lightly focus on breathing naturally (in and out of your nose), check in with how your body is feeling with a body scan, focus your gaze on (or listen to) your “mountain”, try and discover something new about it, recognize its beauty, crack a big smile, etc.
Whatever you do, remember that this moment is for you and your “mountain”, so enjoy it!
Your moment can last three seconds, two minutes, or 30. The length of your moment is not all that important.
Just doing it is what matters. So, get creative and have fun with it!