Be Mindful


Have you ever gotten to the end of your day and not remembered what actually happened?

At Breakfast were you scrolling through emails, reading the news off your phone and grunting three-word sentences at your partner about your upcoming vacation while running off to work?

During your 10 am conference call, were you scrolling through online shopping sites for the vacation, IMing co-workers complaining about your boring boss and going onto social media to see which reality star just had another strangely named baby?

At the gym, are you listening to the instructor, letting yourself get into the process or is your mind obsessing about how the Spin instructor’s pants cost, if you dropped the dry cleaning off in time for your friends party this weekend or if tonight is the men’s preliminary or finals of Olympic figure skating?

Benefits of Mindfulness:

1) When we are fully engaged with what is currently going on, what we are currently doing, when we are living in the present, then we can connect with what we truly want. If I let my mind get stuck on past disappointments, it is easy to stay there. There are days when I have to make a conscious decision to work on my own mindset, but I can course correct and be able to focus on all the things that have worked out, the gifts I have been given, the past achievements.

2) When our thoughts are stuck in the past or obsessing about the future we are unable to enjoy the present. None of us truly know what will happen next, I can guarantee to worry about it will not help how we experience today. It will distract you from the joy, success, and progress you could be making because you are so distracted by what might go wrong tomorrow. Yes, we should always check the weather report before we pack for a trip, and bring a raincoat if the weather forecasts look like it might rain. If it does when we arrive, it does not mean we should not have gone now, does it? or that the entire thing is ruined.

3) Many of us have the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out) we cannot enjoy the current place and experience we are in. Have you ever been to a party where everyone is so busy documenting the fun they are having on social media, the actual vibe is awful? I have and let me tell you I would have rather stayed home and watched Dateline. There wasn’t any actual connection going on. It was all fake fun for the point of what exactly? To show everyone who wasn’t invited how much they were missing out on I guess…

Being Mindful doesn’t come naturally to many of us, especially now we have so many technological distractions. However, it can be done. Start small.

1) Do not multitask. We tend to not do anything well when we attempt to do three things simultaneously. Answer emails, then focus on today’s crisis. If we are constantly checking our emails, we can not focus on our actual work. When are in a meeting, do not take your phone, or leave it with someone who can come and get you in the case of an emergency. A true one, not a text about a 30% off sale at the local department store.

2) Turn your phone off as much as you can. My family saw Black Panther for my son’s birthday on Saturday. Since we were all together, I turned my phone completely off. It was so nice to not be disturbed by random emails, texts or social media inquiries. Sure, I replied a few hours later than I would have normally but it was the weekend and let’s face it, how accessible do most of us truly need to be?

3) When you notice your mind wandering, without judgment bring it back. During my yoga certification class, this was so stinking hard for me. I would be attempting to meditate and then my mind wander, and then I would stress out and go into a shame spiral. Now, I know to gently guide it back without losing my Zen.

Being Mindful is like any skill, it takes focus, willingness and time to master.

“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” – Sharon Salzburg

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