Do you sometimes find yourself consumed by the past or the future, mentally ruminating about events or people and wasting precious time that could be used being happy and living a better life?
“Next time you are in the shower, check: Who else is in there with you?”
Throughout the years, I’ve heard mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn make this statement multiple times on Anderson Cooper, at Wisdom 2.0, and even as a guest on Oprah.
His question is so simple yet so relatable. We have all been there, missing the present to mentally live in the past or the future.
I remember when I first heard his question thinking: “Geez, I bring people with me everywhere, not only into the shower, but also while I’m driving, shopping, and eating!”
The worst part? These are usually the people I am having most difficulty relating to…
We unnecessarily carry around this load, and this impacts our daily performance, our relationships with our loved ones, our overall health, as well as the future we can create for ourselves.
Well here’s a superpower that helps and that you can develop with just a few minutes a day.
Mindfulness as a Super Power
For sure not being mindful feeds my Destructive Self and doesn’t allow my True Self to shine, taking my happiness away.
That is why many are calling mindfulness a superpower. Dan Harris, an anchor for ABC, has a wonderfully simple definition for it: “Mindfulness is the ability to know what is happening in your head at any given time without getting carried away by it”.
Can you imagine having the ability to become aware and stop BEFORE you:
- React harshly to a family member
- Lose your patience with a work colleague
- Become angry while driving
- Let anxiety take over in public
- Let insecurities lead the intentions behind your interactions
In essence have a choice as to how you respond, versus letting your Destructive Self take over and create a total mess of any situation, and in essence, your life.
Yes, that is why developing mindfulness is like developing a superpower in life.
Check out this adorable, short, 2 minute video where Dan Harris uses the cutest animations to further explain.
What’s so cool about mindfulness these days? Science and research are getting behind the benefits. Here are just a few findings:
- University of New Mexico researchers found that participation in mindfulness decreased anxiety and binge eating.
- Office workers who practiced mindfulness for twenty minutes a day reported a reduction in stress.
- Eight weeks of mindfulness resulted in an improvement in the immune profiles of people with breast or prostate cancer.
- A prison offering meditation training for inmates found lower levels of drug use, greater optimism, and better self-control.
- Fifth-grade girls who did a ten-week program of yoga and mindfulness were more satisfied with their bodies and less preoccupied with weight.
- A mix of cancer patients who tried mindfulness showed significant improvement in mood and reduced stress.
- The likelihood of recurrence for patients who had experienced three or more bouts of depression was reduced by half through mindfulness.
- After fifteen weeks of practicing mindfulness counseling students reported improved physical and emotional well-being.
Mindfulness Guided Meditation
So how do we start developing this superpower, Mindfulness? I agree with Dan Harris in that the best way I have found is through meditation.
I will do a post soon recapping my resources on mindfulness. In the meantime, here is a free guided meditation that I created for you. I am certain that you will absolutely love it.
When I began establishing my meditation practice, I began with guided meditations.
Guided meditations were incredible and the benefits continue to blow me away to this day. It has not only been about being able to develop greater mindfulness, but also having more time, not getting sick, and even just looking better.
I can’t imagine a better way to begin to develop more mindfulness; it’s almost like a jump start into the whole practice. And because of this, I can’t imagine not sharing this resource with you, who I know are committed to living a better life.
I truly hope you enjoy this guided meditation, leave a comment and let me know how it goes!
Mindfulness doesn’t just occur in meditation. Again, ultimately mindfulness is the awareness of what is going on within you at any given moment.
Sometimes, I practice mindfulness by just asking myself a couple of simple questions:
- What is going on with me right now?
- How am I showing up in life at this moment?
Here’s a great personal example:
As many of you know, I practice yoga. A while back, a teacher said to a class I was in: “How you show up on your yoga mat is how you show up for your life”.
Hmmm. Interesting. I started watching how I showed up on my mat when I went to yoga class.
Well, it wasn’t pretty:
- I often arrived late to class, rushing to get any spot that could possibly be left over
- I didn’t say hi, didn’t socialize with anyone. I wanted to get in and get out and not be bothered
- I was often looking at the clock, checking to see when class would finally be over
- I took poses I didn’t like as optional. If I didn’t like them, say I thought they wouldn’t give me enough of a “workout”, it was the perfect time for a water break
- My mind was in a million places, zipping between where I had been in the past and where I thought I could be in the future
- I doubted my ability to fully practice, saying to myself “I’m just never going to really be a yogi, I’ll always just be an ‘amateur tourist’.” Ouch.
And on, and on, and on. Now I looked at how this was a reflection of how I showed up in life:
- How often was I packing things into my schedule, arriving late and leaving early to get it all in?
- With all the rushing, did I even take time to deepen the relationships with those around me? Forget deepening, did I even say hi to my neighbors when I saw them? Not good.
- How was my patience these days?
- How often did I bring a good attitude to things that bored me? Again, there’s that patience.
- How much did I live in the present moment?
- And, one that was life changing, how much confidence did I really ultimately have in myself, despite believing that I was a pretty confident person?
Woah. I had work to do. And this simple exercise revealed to me how much and where this work needed to get done.
Ask yourself this question:
What activity is a reflection of how I show up for my life as a whole?
Maybe it’s your job.
Maybe it’s how organized your home is.
But something is mirroring to you how you approach your entire life.
Becoming mindful of this could be life changing.
What can YOU do TODAY?
- Download the free guided meditation I created for you. Take just a few minutes in the morning to do it. You have a few minutes.
- Identify what activity or situation is a reflection of how you show up for your life as a whole? List the improvements you must make to live a better life. Just do one step a day.
- Leave any questions below, I am here as a resource for you!
Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or question below. If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you share it with your friends, family, and community.
Lots of love,