A New Year’s Mindfulness Experiment – Exploring One Concept a Week

Posted by on Dec 31, 2016 in Mindfulness, New Year | 4 Comments

My intention for the new year is to take one concept each week – just ONE – and dive into it in a focused and mindful way and see what happens.  My hope is that I’ll be able to reach a deeper understanding and integrate it into my life in a more practiced way.  I want to move beyond knowing about something intellectually and have it really reside in my being.  I don’t know about anyone else, but the ever changing flood of things I am supposed to focus on is a challenge.  I cannot simultaneously focus on breath, kindness, creating community, listening, right speech, justice, eating consciously, being organized, chi, flow, peace, and love.  But, since everything is connected, I could conceivably start anywhere and pull that thread to reach them all.  I think the trick is to go deeper with any one of them and not get stuck in some surface understanding of any concept.   So that’s my plan.

Throughout the week, I will look for ways to embrace the word or concept which will include: meditation, journaling, maybe drawing (not my strong point), and posting the word or concept at home and at work (I love sticky notes.)  Working with some questions, especially for meditation and journaling will also be part of the plan.

My word for week one is NEW, which seems appropriate given the new year.  And by NEW I really mean recognizing the newness and uniqueness of each moment.

“No person steps into the same river twice.”  Heraclitus

The river and the person are different in each moment.  I get that intellectually but it is hard to keep that awareness alive moment by moment.

In meditation and qi gong practice, I can slide into feeling bored and find it hard to focus on the uniqueness of this particular now.   Why is it sometimes  hard to focus on what is happening in this moment?  What is it like to be aware of each nuance of a movement or a breath?    What gets in my way?

In interactions with friends, family, and co-workers, I constantly make assumptions about their behavior based on the past.  What would it be like to meet each person fresh in each moment?  And how can I put that into practice?

Those are just some beginning questions for contemplation. I do find that writing helps me frame other questions and possible answers so I will be using that tool a lot.

This is my personal experiment to find out what difference this could make in my life and also a personal challenge to see if I can make it through the entire 52 weeks.  If you’d like to join me, please sign up to follow my blog or check in on Sunday afternoons to see the word for the week.   I would love to know your experience with each word.   And go ahead and email me if I skip a Sunday!    Happy New Year!


  1. Tracy Neal
    December 31, 2016

    This experiment is a great concept, so to speak. I think you’re on to something quite valuable here, Joann. It is overwhelming to try to focus on all of it all at once, so I will be happy to work with your idea. Thank you, as always. Tracy

    • Joann Calabrese
      January 1, 2017

      Tracy, Thank you! It feels like the day just rushes at us sometimes and I want to find one balance point for the week. If you have suggestions for words and concepts let me know. I have some ideas for next week, but not sure what I’m doing next as I am focusing on newness right now. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  2. Elizabeth
    January 1, 2017

    This whole idea is very cool and I love the idea of using the word new for the first week..helping us to remain in the present. Really great idea!

    • Joann Calabrese
      January 1, 2017

      Thanks Elizabeth, It gives us a kind of anchor…at least that is how I am imagining it. But my idea is to really practice this so it is not just imagining. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂 Love you. M.


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