In the spirit of getting back in the swing of things, I’ve put together a new kind of meditation series for fall. If you participated our meditation challenge this spring, you know that the practice is usually done with eyes closed, focused on going inward. However, the three meditations we’ll be doing over the next nine weeks are more centered on the outside world and your relationship to it. This series is designed to be shared with anyone, including your kids, partner, or friends, though you can certainly enjoy it on your own. No previous meditation experience is needed to sign up for this series.

Each meditation is focused on a different type of awareness. This first one taps into your memory and is meant to help you connect with your environment in a way that brings you firmly into the present. Normally, when you enter a room, you most likely see how it’s set up and decorated, but then quickly forget. Even with spaces that you visit daily, you probably can’t remember all the small details, like the placement of furniture or the order of the art hanging on the walls. In this mindfulness exercise, you’ll work on noticing those little elements that make up your surroundings and learn how to recall them without looking.

Mindfulness activities offer many benefits. First, they develop your awareness, presence, and memory. Just through this one exercise, you can begin to improve your concentration, focus, and ability to remember details. You can also practice this method anytime, anywhere, which means that you’ll have an endless supply of new environments to test it out in. After awhile, you’ll notice that it will become a habit to live in this constant state of awareness. For children especially, this is a huge advantage because they’re developing a lifelong tool. When you have extreme awareness, you notice everything, not just the objects around you, but also what’s happening, what people are saying, and how they are saying it. You listen better when you’re aware, which in turn helps you formulate your thoughts more clearly.

>>Sign up to receive free weekly reminders and 6-minute guided mindfulness meditations to help you and your family improve mental sharpness in just nine weeks.

Related: The New Science Behind the Benefits of Meditation