3 Steps towards Mindfulness (No Meditation Required)
Mindfulness Part I
If you have picked up a Time Magazine or New York Times newspaper anytime in the past year, you most likely have seen or heard something about of the Mindful Revolution sweeping the Western Hemisphere.
What is Mindfulness, really?
Most importantly, how can it make a power impact on your life?
I’d like to take a moment with this week to demystify and simplify this thing called mindfulness and offer 3 steps to get you started in the right direction (no meditation required).
Let’s break it down together.
I define Mindfulness as:
Non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations as they are happening in the present moment.
In other words, mindfulness can be described as:
complete self-awareness in the present moment.
Simple, but profound.
But before we dive in, let’s clear up one common misconception.
Mindfulness vs. Meditation
Q. Isn’t mindfulness another word for meditation?
A. Answered simply: No.
Meditation is one pathway to cultivate mindfulness. Like Yoga, Qigong and Tai chi, meditation strengthens our self-awareness through sustained focus on the body, breath and mind in the present moment.
While meditation has major health benefits and fascinating effects on the brain, we’ll leave that for another blog post.
The most important message here is that you don’t need to be a meditation master to begin benefitting from mindfulness right away.
Why Mindfulness is A Big Win.
Think of mindfulness as a Big Bright Flashlight, that has the ability to shine light on your deep seated beliefs and corresponding thought patterns as they pop up in daily life. When we shine light on them, it opens up an opportunity to examine them in a big way.
As we take a closer look at the fabric of our thoughts and feelings, we can begin to consider their origin in our life story, and re-consider whether or not these beliefs and thoughts really serve us for the better or are putting a damper on our life and dreams.
Here’s the best part. As we get better at flexing our self-awareness muscle, life gets a little less scary, more clear and we become empowered to choose how to respond vs. blindly react to people and life circumstances.
In other words, mindfulness is the antithesis of living your day-to-day in autopilot.
And if feels like spring cleaning the heart and mind.
So What Stands in the Way of Practicing Mindfulness?
Emotions. Lots of emotions.
Consider all the emotions that exist on the barometer of what is the human experience.
Sometimes the Mindfulness flashlight might shine light on some not so happy moments in your life. Let’s be real. This is usually when all the emotional guck that we’ve have been hiding in the dark corners of your life come to the surface for healing, clearing, releasing, and forgiving. Yup, all that work. It can definitely grow into an emotional tornato of fear and pain if we let it.
But, before you walk away, know this:
The closer we get to our emotions, the closer we get to ourselves.
The best way to get close to ourselves is to tap into how we feel. Our goal? The clearest and closest relationship with ourselves possible. Think of all the forks in the roads you may have faced and had to decide to turn right or left. The closer we get to ourselves, the better equipped we are at navigating life and making life decisions that are most in alignment with who we are and what we truly want.
The ride, my friend, is worth it.
Building a Mindfulness Practice ...Takes, Well, Practice.
Try these 3 steps to get you started in the right direction.
Step 1 :: Offer yourself sacred witness.
In moments of pleasure or pain, offer yourself sacred witness to whatever you are physically feeling, emotionally feeling, or mentally thinking. Before assigning whether is is good or bad just practice observing it. The best gift you can offer yourself through this process is a safe place with zero judgement and absolute love and compassion. You are your own divine witness, this experience is your beautiful life. Embrace it.
Step 2 :: Give yourself permission to pause before reacting.
Sometimes life gets so busy we experience multiple touchpoints and interactions per day. Some are pleasurable and others not so much fun. It’s usually the uncomfortable ones (not to mention those closest to us) that trigger an emotion reaction from us. Next time a colleague or family member pushes that one “button” (knowingly or unknowingly) give yourself permission to Pause for reacting.
Quick Tip: In the heat of the moment ask yourself: What is happening in my body right now? Perhaps your heart is pumping, your teeth are clenched. Then ask yourself what am I feeling? Why? And what is underneath that emotion? Peel the layers as deep as you can. The answers you are looking for already within you.
Step 3 :: Offer yourself sacred space to process.
As we become familiar with witnessing ourselves through self awareness there will always be a lot information and emotion to process. Give yourself not only time, but a physical space to rest, reflect and process. Pour yourself a cup of tea, go to your designated safe space and get to know yourself by reflecting what has been transpiring. Consider it a date with yourself.
Quick Tip: As you reflect ask yourself: How am I feeling right now as I am processing this information? What is it that I need right now?
Going Deeper. Where The Breakthroughs Happen.
Sometimes we need help navigating the muddy waters, we are tired of traveling in circles, or we have decided that we want to walk the most direct path to our personal promise land. In this case, working with a coach or mentor as a guide is the best investment one can make.
If you are interested in doing the deeper work, and making transformational shifts in your life by working privately 1-on-1 click here.
Mindfulness is also one of the foundations for our online course Radiant Home. To learn more and sign up for enrollment information, please click here.
Now, I would love to hear from you.
Share a moment when you took the opportunity to pause and chose a response to a situation of person vs. reacting in auto-pilot.
How did hitting the pause button change the way you viewed the experience?
Lastly, if you feel this blog post has helped you, or could benefit someone you love, please feel free to share this post with friends and family.
Thank you for taking the time to journey with me today.
From my heart-center to yours,