How often do you breathe?


I am a busy person. I always have been. My mind or my body is usually in motion, and anyone within earshot will confirm that my mouth usually offers a running commentary for my unsuspecting audience. At the front of a classroom, this translates into a need for  more “Wait Time”.

It seems obvious enough that allowing wait time is important in the classroom; giving students time to think of answers before blurting out the right one, waiting for silence before continuing on with a lesson, making room for quiet reflection to ebb in the flow of a busy classroom.

But while this is true, I have also found that I, too, need to open myself to wait time in my own life. Instead of busily racing from Pre-internship into the madcap chaos of our last three weeks of studies, I have found a need for solitude, reflection, and the digestion of the last three weeks. I found myself asking questions and reflection upon the experience, over and over again:

What did I learn? What did I do? What was important to me? What am I proud of? What would I do differently? What kind of teacher do I want to be?

…and so on, and so on. My brain seems to suggest answers constantly, filtering and filing the good ones. Sometimes the answers come in the middle of the night. Other times they pop into my head when I am having a completely unrelated conversation with family or friends. And so my brain, my spirit, my body, and yes, even my mouth, continue to process this experience. I never would have thought that 3 weeks in a classroom could have such a profound effect on me.

As I pause this weekend, before returning to classes, a 5 word truth hits me:

Purposeful pauses provide profound providence.

I have come to appreciate the value of reflection. Reflection doesn’t always reveal immediately what messages are most valuable, but if you give it enough wait time, the cream rises to the surface.

So looking ahead to the next steps, I realized today that just because I am busy does not mean I shouldn’t breathe. Even though I have an aggressive plan for the remainder of my degree, the breaks and pauses now also have my attention. Perhaps this is the root of my next Health Action Plan… taking time to breathe.

So, I will leave you with a question – How often do you “breathe”? What form does it take – journal reflection, incessant rambling, spin class, or something else?


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