Stay Mindful


Fiona Rudy

Stay mindful, friends!

Mindfulness is the practice of being aware- aware of your mindset, thought process, habits, and emotions. Mindfulness comes in many forms, it’s not always hours of quiet contemplation or meditation. Sometimes, it is loud, big changes, drastic measures.


Last fall by a strange series of luck, I was exactly in the right place at the right time. I was playing in an ensemble as a cellist, sitting in the very back next to this incredible bassist. By a stroke of chance I had found out earlier that month that I was eligible to take private lessons for my instrument, thanks to an anonymous donation. So I took a chance and asked if I could take lessons for an instrument I didn’t yet know how to play. I was allowed to. I made a decision the day after I took my first lesson that I was really going to try this. If it didn’t work out, if I overcommitted, that would be an issue for another day. 


That day never came.


It was not without struggle. I took driver’s training the same month I started playing, I would be at school till 5pm for drivers training, and then another hour to practice. I didn’t have an instrument at my home, so I took advantage of the time I had after school. My school day was regularly ending at 6pm or later. I started playing with others with very little knowledge, being the least experienced, least confident person in the room was a role I wasn’t comfortable in. The learning curve was stressful, daunting, and lonely, 


But I didn’t stop playing, I was in an orchestra within the month, a band within four. I played a solo at Solo and Ensemble, then another when I made states, I expanded out of school, playing in an orchestra pit over the summer, and then in Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony in the fall. I currently play in two symphony orchestras, two jazz bands, a symphony band, and a chamber orchestra. I celebrated one year of playing on November first 2022.


I don’t write this to tell you how great I am for learning how to play an instrument, but to show that a change in mindset is a real way to create change. My mindset was not a quiet contemplation of my thoughts, but an intense drive and refusal to give in, a promise to myself. Where I am was not prompted by talent, or even time, but by relentless dedication.


That is how I see mindfulness, being aware of how you work, what gives you drive, how to change yourself. Your mindset is how you navigate the world, your mindfulness is knowing how to utilize it. There is no right or wrong way to be mindful, but I would encourage you to try.  


Stay mindful friends,