A CBL Intern’s Advice on Mindfulness

Wow! I cannot believe I am typing this blog post as a senior CBL Intern. Where has the time gone? Even as an experienced CBL student, I still feel as though there are always things that I could use a refresher on, or at least an opportunity to examine things in a new light. Do you sometimes feel this way?

For this post, I am going to discuss the topic of mental presence and engagement during CBL site visits. As the semester becomes hectic, it becomes more difficult to really appreciate the time I put into my CBL site, because even when I am physically engaged at the site, my mind can be elsewhere. I think it is safe to say that other CBL students may feel this way as well, especially now that we are fully immersed in papers, exams, and various on-campus activities.

“When is that paper due? What am I even writing that paper about? What time are office hours? Did I remind my roommate that I am not going to be back until late tonight?” The crazy stream of consciousness that is constantly churning in a Holy Cross student’s mind can be hard to suppress or even fully appreciate.

After years of participating in CBL opportunities, I still sometimes struggle to be mentally engaged at all times. So, what is a busy student to do? My recommendation is to practice mindfulness at your CBL site.

What does this mean? It means allowing yourself to focus specifically on each task as it happens, instead of worrying about upcoming tasks, whether they are a product of your site or of your impending work schedule. Focus on the math problem that you are helping a high school student to solve, or the donation collection that you are in the midst of organizing. Once you break down the experience into smaller pieces, you are able to more fully absorb events as they occur and you will ultimately learn how to fully appreciate them.

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