As we begin to gear up for the cold, final papers, and the holidays, it’s easy to begin to feel overwhelmed and isolated. The busyness can lead us to rush past each other and to ignore our need for self-care, convinced we don’t have the time.
Philosopher Albert Borgmann writes about how often we live a distracted, over-stimulated life in his book Power Failure. He points out how quickly we become disconnected from others and our environment, especially since technology has taken over so much of our lives. Borgmann upholds “communities of celebration” as a way to counteract our inclination towards isolation because, in community with others, we are reminded of our interconnectedness to each other and to our surroundings.
When we enter into focused community with one another, we can remember life beyond all of the papers due next week, the never-ending to-do list, and we are reminded that we are defined by more than just grades and accomplishments.
While it is important to prioritize school, if it gets to the point where we close off from others and aren’t treating our bodies and minds well, we’ve cultivated an unhealthy view of life that affects us in deep ways. Fortunately, St. Kate’s offers numerous communities of celebration to get involved in that remind us of the world beyond final papers and to-do lists.
One of these communities is the Mindfulness Club where participants meet for 45 minutes on the first and third Tuesdays of the month on the Minneapolis campus. Students are welcome to come and participate in meditation exercises like qigong, silent meditation or guided meditation with music.
Even Harvard Medical School can attest that mindfulness meditation gives participants the chance to be in the present moment and cultivate a space free of judgment. Practicing in a group setting, such as with the Mindfulness Club, reminds students that we are not on this journey alone and that our value as humans is not based on our performance.
“It is peaceful and powerful to be surrounded by others, and guided imagery meditation can really be transforming and help me transport to a happy place,” said Alexandra Kerlin, a student in the Master of Holistic Health Studies program and Mindfulness Club leader.
Kerlin and her co-leader, Allison Runchey, both acknowledged that they are able to see a noticeable difference in how they handle life-stress since practicing meditation.
If meditation doesn’t seem like your thing or a commitment to a club seems like too much, check out all of the options that are routinely posted on campus billboards, walls, and monitors. There are always events that are advertised such as lectures by faculty members, events at The O’Shaughnessy, movies, runs/walks, sporting events and much more, which offer a time to relax and a chance to connect with others.
It’s easy to rush past these postings, either so captivated by our phones or so overwhelmed by our next assignment that we don’t even notice. I encourage you all to take time away from the busyness of school and work to truly be present with others, take care of yourself, and cultivate gratitude that enables you to see beyond your current challenge in life.
You can find information for this and other clubs on campus here