What is Mindfulness?

Let’s start here:

Mindfulness is NOT…

  • doing nothing
  • religious based
  • absence of thought
  • a distraction technique
  • a way to escape reality
  • a quick fix
  • self-indulgent
  • a form of discipline
  • about being calm
  • does not make us passive or weak

Mindfulness is…

paying attention, on purpose, to what is happening right now within and around yourself, with kindness and curiosity. Mindfulness builds self-awareness. And because you are the only person you will ever be with from the moment of your first breath until your last one, it can be helpful to understand all things related to YOU.

Here are some articles addressing the benefits of this practice:

American Psychological Association (2012)

Harvard (2018)

Cleveland Clinic (2017)

And, because I believe it’s important to try to view information from many angles, I’ve included some articles that challenge the findings a bit…

This very recent Harvard Business Review of when Mindfulness is helpful, and hot helpful in the business setting (2022)

And this Scientific American Article that questions the research (2017)

What I know To Be True:

My Mindfulness Practice has made me:

  • less reactive
  • more compassionate
  • feel a deeper sense of connection to myself, others, and the earth
  • more likely to choose a wise response
  • more spiritual
  • kinder to myself
  • more patient
  • more connected, kind, and understanding of my body’s inherent wisdom

So, Now What?

I’ll share with you the same expectations I share with my middle and high school students: I do not care if you listen to or learn from what I am sharing. You can sleep while I’m teaching if you want. My only expectation is that you respect those who choose to learn by not interrupting them.

We live in a society that overvalues productivity, and we tend to be overworked. We have little energy left to invest in our social~emotional~mental health. This leaves us using quick fixes that require little effort, if anything at all to feel better. And those are only in the moment fixes. Mindfulness is a long term investment, and it is an active process requiring your time, energy, and effort.

What Has Helped Me Build A Consistent Practice:

  • I do not find time, I prioritize making time
  • I have played around with different times of the day to meditate and the late evening is what works best for me.
  • I meditate in the same place every day
  • I use noise canceling headphones with ambient music
  • I was clear with my family that no one is to interrupt me unless they need to goto the hospital. (I started this formal practice when the boys were 8 years old and younger and they have respected it- they have only tested me on 1-2 occasions and no one needed emergency medical care.)
  • I meditate anywhere from 3 minutes-30 minutes.
  • I have a comfortable meditation cushion.
  • I almost always have a window open to feel some fresh air.
  • When I first started practicing I did not take a day off for 90 days straight.
  • Sometimes I do not want to put in the effort so I take some days off. If I take too many days away from my practice, my body and mind crave will crave it, and I always return to it.
  • Being kind and gentle with myself when I return to it.

If you want to give it a go, GREAT! Reach out and let me know how I can best support you!

If you want nothing to do with this, GREAT! Reach out and let me know how I can best support you!

If you’re like me, you’ll hear these words of introduction and invitation, and something will stir within you.

And, in a year or two you’ll begin to invest in your own mindfulness practice. When this happens, I’ll be here to support you.

It’s what I do.

You can’t stop the waves. But you can learn how to surf.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

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