Living in the NOW

Spring Semester, 2013 – my last semester of graduate school.  For the next 3 months, it’s going to be a balancing act of completing my action research project, my work obligations, and my studies.   The energy of the campus is abundant, as this semester has been in full swing for over a month.  That energy reminds me of why I chose to work in higher education:  energy and movement  create growth, and growth leads to change.  It’s a rewarding feeling to know that I am a part of that energy and that I contribute to positive change in the lives of the students that  I work with.
Anything that has a high level of energy will also contain high levels of stress.  The campus is a busy environment: there are tons of people moving at a hurried pace, events taking place all over campus,  work and school deadlines need to be met, commuting and parking issues, etc.  One thing I know about myself is that in order for me to perform at my fullest capacity, I must engage in self care.  For me, this involves regular exercise, spending time with friends and family, or even simply relaxing.  One of my favorite ways to relax late at night is to turn off all the lights and lay on my yoga mat while doing some simple stretches or just focusing on my breathing.  This gives me a chance to reconnect with myself,  restores my body and my mind, and inevitably leads to  deep, restful sleep.  And I don’t have to convince anyone about the benefits of a good night’s sleep!
There are times where I have become overwhelmed in trying to juggle everything that comes along with being a Graduate Assistant while at the same time a master’s student.  Sometimes the best way to cope is by prioritizing everything and powering through it while keeping the end goal in mind.  Other times, it’s a matter of letting it all go and taking those much needed breaks that allow me to come back recharged.   In the fast paced era that we live in, it can be difficult to just slow down and embrace the present moment.  It’s so easy to be attached to a variety of electronic devices that are supposed to make life easier, but can end up making everything more complicated.  Finding a balance between keeping up with the hectic pace and slowing down and going within have worked well for me.  Knowing when to shut off the electronic devices and “turning off” has been crucial to my ability to maintain a steady pace.  Although my goals for this semester include both prioritizing and persevering, my main goal is to stay in the present moment and enjoy the ride, for it will be over before I know it.
Photos to remind me to live in the present moment.

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