mandala

You face many challenging decisions as you prepare for college. And it’s much more than SAT prep and application essays. As you juggle all the possibilities before you, you begin to define what’s important to you. This is a time of self-examination and even invention—a time to step away from who you are and into who you want to be. As you wrestle with external and internal questions, you’re laying a foundation of skills that will support you in college and beyond. A practice of mindfulness will support this transition by pushing away the noise that clutters your own deep knowing—social expectations, the opinions of family and friends, and even your own unexamined beliefs. A mindful practice brings confidence and the focus to see your own truth clearly. And this will allow you to make decisions that are truly right for you.

So what is a mindfulness? Simply slowing down to notice your feelings more fully is part of a mindful practice. Limiting activities that don’t bring you joy is also part of a mindful practice. So is noticing your reactions and speaking your truth, even though it may be difficult for others to hear. Meditating can be part of a mindful practice, as can yoga or sitting quietly while breathing into your heart. Journaling and even contemplative drawing can bring mindfulness. Everyone’s practice is unique. In the end, only you will know what is best for you.

In “The Mindful Guide to College Preparation: A Five Day Retreat for Students and Their Parents”, I show how to add mindfulness to your daily routine. I’ve set the book up so that an individual or an entire family can add a mindful rhythm to their day—one that might include meditation, mandalas, journaling, yoga, reflective exercises and even tea. It’s a good place to begin developing a mindful practice.