Mindfulness...it's not all b.s.
September 6, 2017

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From experts to friends, meditation is a hot topic, but what is it exactly? I used to think it was a yoga or meditation thing that took years to perfect.  

Nope – It’s simply a way of paying attention to our thoughts in the moment when we find that we’re distracted. 

Here’s an example – I was driving to the gym this morning and listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast.  (I’m a Happier super fan.)  Pretty quickly into my drive, I noticed that I wasn’t even listening to Gretchen but rather ruminating about all the things I need to do today.  My stress level was spiraling.
 
So, I took a few deep breaths, focused on my surroundings and honed back in on the podcast.  

And, that is mindfulness!  Nothing fancy, but effective since I can’t stress if I’m focused on Gretchen.

I teach my clients concepts of mindfulness to help them experience a greater sense of calm and success in their lives. Research shows that people who practice mindfulness experience greater productivity, deeper focus, reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep and eating habits, and better cognitive functioning.

A simple way to bring mindfulness into your life is to set intentions.  Intentions bring us back to our purpose if we get off track or find ourselves procrastinating.  

Think about how you usually start a morning:  Do you stretch?  Lay in bed and fret?  Say a prayer?  Reach for your phone to check Facebook?  Turn on the TV?  Read the news?  Whatever you do sets the tone for your day.   

Try this instead…
First thing in the morning write down your three major priorities for the day.  

Next, think about how you want to show up to each priority –not what you want to DO but how do you want to BE – and write it next to the priority.  This is your intention.

Here are some ideas for your intentions ---- Love, confidence, compassion, power, joy, fun, connection, calm, action, authenticity, clarity, courage, creative, possibility, balance, harmony, peace, commitment, curiosity.

Here’s how mine look for today:  

  1. Meeting with a new client– Curiosity.  If I come from a place of curiosity I do my best listening and I really want to learn who this new person is.   
     
  2. Prepping for an upcoming presentation – Focus.  I know the material and I’m excited to share it so I need to get it done.
     
  3. Family dinner to talk about this year’s curfews, allowance and chores – Connection.  If I focus on connection I am more likely to create a dialogue so we can come up with mutually respectful agreements. That’s much better than me telling everyone what to do and ticking them off.  

Before starting each priority, I’ll do exactly what I did in the car this morning.  I will take a few minutes and close my eyes, breath, think about my intention and how I want to show up.  I’ll let the distractions of the day go and get very present so that I can be effective and productive.  Sometimes I write my intention on a post-it note and stick it on my computer or my phone as a quick reminder. This is a simple but great visual aid if I feel myself getting distracted or anxious. 

Give intention setting a try and let me know how it goes for you.  If you need support around this or want to talk about other ways to be mindful, give me a call or send me an email.  What can being mindful give you? I’d love to chat it out!

  

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