Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Mindfulness is quite en vogue right now. All the podcasts I listen have both hosts and their guests (many of them leaders in their field or entrepreneurs) that talk of their morning routines that morning routines that help shape their day and promote their productivity. 96% of those morning routines have elements of meditation or gratitude in them. Both of these are mindfulness practices. A good friend of mine is a life coach and she swears by mindful practices and has even brought it into our Lower School with great success. (Check out Karin Mitchell Coaching).

As for me, I get glimmers of mindfulness—like when I went on a college visit exploration trip with my family. I found myself very “in the moment” a lot of the time: soaking up the setting, experiencing new things, and looking with fresh eyes. Seeing the first glimmers of Spring, down south (earlier than our “at home” sights) it was refreshingly striking and I found myself really absorbing my surroundings.

Typically though, I wrestle with being in the moment. I'm always trying to investigate new ideas, do "one more thing," check off something on my to-do list... or even mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Apple News.

Yet it was in reading Cheryl Leutjen’s book “Love Earth Now: The Power is Doing One Thing Every Day” that I couldn’t get past the introduction without being struck by the term “eco-mindful.”

I also highly related to the intro alone as an environmentalist. This quote struck a chord, as I too “attempt to navigate the fine line between eco-mindfulness and eco-madness.” Watching the news reports about plastic pollution, the growing effects of climate change, environmental laws that seem to be going backwards rather than forwards, the arguments from science deniers and politicians who clearly need to take a science class or two—it can be overwhelming and often times downright depressing.

But science minded Cheryl Leutjen embraces her own discomfort with mindful practices to be just that. Additionally, she does it with humor. To inspire mindful moments both “with nature” and in thinking about the environment, it's important to do small actions to make your eco-vote heard. We all can do that whether we are voting via our decisions, our wallet, or our actions & examples—especially to our own children.

Fitting: I was reading all of this, and thinking all of this, while sitting outside. Doing so, I was feeling the shadow-to-sun-ratio above shift, leaving me more and more in the warming sunbeam of early Spring. That alone made me grin back to the sun. In my basking moment, I was struck by a bird call I wasn’t accustomed to, so I started visually scanning my surroundings. I finally locked on a remarkable blue jay hiding noisily in a nearby bush. A rare sighting for me. My blue jay pulled me in to just stop and watch him, preening in the sun much like myself. I wasn't digital-scrolling mindlessly. I stopped reading and just was there, in that moment, in nature.

And... I was richer for the experience!

May you find many moments of eco-mindfulness this Spring, especially with Earth Day on the way!

Images: Book from, "Eco-Mindfulness" was created by me at, and the cherry blossoms from my camera.

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