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Weekly Mindfulness Support Blog - Find Your Bearings

Hello and welcome to this glorious Friday, April 09, 2021. Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again.


When I was an undergraduate, the second time around, I took an incredible course called, “Colorado Ecoregions.” There were about fifteen students in the class. For two weeks we camped out, traveled around in a tightly packed van, and explored different ecoregions in Colorado. This course was thoughtfully designed by one of my favorite professors and dear friend, Dr. Pat! Magee, to help us connect with our “place.” Part of our place includes the stars.


Each of us were asked to research a constellation and discover a fun fact and share it with the rest of the group. I chose the Little Dipper – Ursa Minor. In researching the Little Dipper, I learned that the phrase, “find your bearings,” is an ancient navigational term. Sailors would use an instrument called a sextant to measure their position in the open seas in relation to certain stars and constellations. In this case, they used the star Polaris (the north star) within the constellation of Ursa Minor. Ursa Minor is Latin for, “little bear.” To find one’s ‘bear’ings meant to track your progress using your position in relation to Ursa Minor, the little bear.


I bring this up today because I believe, in so many ways, we have lost our bearing. In our societal turbulence and in the busyness of our head down-elbow flying lives, we often forget or don’t have time to look up and assess our direction in life.


I realize that I have only my experience to call upon and I can’t help but to project my understanding on to my observations. But from a young age, like many of us, my course was set for success. What I discovered, however, is that the “success” in which I was striving for isn’t what I truly want.


Success in our society is often measured by the grades we get in school, the trophies we win, the car we drive