March 5, 2016

Count the Stars—a Mindfulness Practice.


When the stress of life becomes overwhelming, we often look for a quiet space—in our heads, in our environment—where we can get a moment of rest.

Sometimes we only have a moment to close our eyes or sip our tea before we have to rush off to the next task or concentrate on the next project. Those times of quiet mindfulness are precious, and they can be quite rare.

I wrote the following poem on an evening where the stars were so lovely above this ancient oak, and I longed so much to lie beneath it for a while:

If my work and all that it keeps
Did not bid me rest before the dawn,
I would lay awake and put off sleep
To count the stars above my lawn
Through boughs so heavy that they weep
With leaves still dark, though the air has chilled
I would stay awake and put off sleep
To count the stars and simply feel
This longing so dark I, too, could weep
To rest this night in the stars’ embrace
Beneath leaves so thick, branches reaching high
I would close my eyes in this quiet space
And dream soft dreams beneath this sky.

While I was unable to dream my dreams under a star-filled sky that night, I often feel that longing to return to a quiet moment.

While our lives are often hectic and filled with tasks that must be accomplished, it’s important to make time to recharge.

Working in a mindfulness meditation ritual can help nourish our souls on the most trying days. Finding small ways of reconnecting with our senses and truly being in the present moment can help give us the quiet moments that we need to be able to face the challenges of day-to-day life.

Here are a few mindfulness rituals that have helped me to feel rejuvenated in times of stress:


As a writer, I like to take a moment here and there to record my thoughts. It helps me process my feelings and it can often bring clarity to muddled thoughts.

Two words: Chocolate Meditation.

There’s nothing quite like taking a bite of delicious chocolate. When you do so with mindfulness, you can enjoy that moment by keeping all of your senses open to the taste and texture of the chocolate.

I personally enjoy the dark salted chocolate, perhaps with a touch of caramel. It’s decadent, but it only takes a moment of your time.


In a very busy day, it can seem impossible to have a moment to escape into your thoughts, but instead of endlessly checking our social media or playing a game on our phones, we can take a moment to escape in our minds to a place of peace.

For me, I can close my eyes and remember the exact moment that I captured in the poem, or I can reflect on a day at the beach or in some other setting where I feel relaxed. It only takes a moment, but it can help bring a feeling of contentment.

However we choose to experience mindfulness during the day, it’s important to find the time to center ourselves and recharge.

Our souls need those moments of being grounded and at peace. We can feel so much more prepared to meet life’s challenges when we’ve taken those quiet moments to connect and reflect.






Not your Average Cup of Tea—a Mindfulness Practice.


Author: Crystal Jackson

Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll/Editor: Travis May

Photo: Pixoto

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