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Real talk on everyday “mindfulness”

 

 

 

 

By Guest Blogger: Adam Meyer

There is a lot of buzz these days about “mindfulness,” but what does that really mean? On one hand, mindfulness is a particular type of meditation, on another hand, mindfulness is a particular state of awareness. As it turns out, the goal of mindfulness meditation is to experience and prolong the state of mindful awareness. It may sound a bit complicated, but it is actually easier than you think.

The famous Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Along those same lines, I would say that the journey into mindful awareness begins with one mindful moment. Like any skill, mindfulness takes practice. It takes patience. Ultimately, to always be in a state of mindful awareness would be amazing, but even just a few moments of mindfulness here and there can have powerful and therapeutic effects. I am going to teach you a very simple way to achieve these moments of mindfulness, but before I do, let’s look at why it is so important, especially in the modern world in which we live.

The world we live in today is a world of distraction. A fast paced, on demand, digital domain of information overload. A perfect example? Just last week a woman fell into a cellar when walking down the sidewalk because she was looking at her cell phone, instead of where she was walking. And this is not a one off event. There are people that have been seriously injured, or even killed, because they were looking at their phones instead of driving, walking, etc.

So, what is the solution to this constant overflow of information and digital distraction?Mindfulness of course. If that word makes you uncomfortable, or the thought of having to sit and meditate for extended periods of time concerns you, don’t worry. What I am about to share with you is simple, and powerfully effective. It is an easy way to experience mindfulness without needing to flex your meditation muscles or retire to a remote monastery in search of enlightenment. In fact, those very digital tools that can be such sources of distraction, are going to actually help you achieve these mindful moments I am talking about. Are you ready?

Here’s all you have to do:

  • Pick up your smart phone, assuming you are not already holding it to read this blog.
  • Pick a time of day when you know you are usually really busy, really distracted. It could be first thing in the morning, mid-day, or sometime after work. Eventually, you will get to all these times, but for now just choose one.
  • Set a reminder with your favorite digital assistant, Siri, Kortana, Jarvis . . .Bob?
  • What reminder should you set? Simple. Read the following words to your robot pal:
    “At (insert time here, every day) remind me to have a Mindful Moment.”
    Then, put your phone away and go about your day as usual.

When your phone chimes later in the day and you see that reminder to have a Mindful Moment, do just that.

Take a moment

Put down your phone, and look around. Take a deep breath. Become aware of your surroundings. Notice the colors and the sounds around you. Don’t just look, notice. Check in with how you are feeling, don’t judge, just notice. The whole process could take less than a minute, or you can let it flow a little longer. Don’t keep score, and don’t look at the clock, just be mindful, be aware for the moment. Almost certainly life will find a way to draw you back into your regular routine, but for that one moment, you will have shifted, and that’s where it all begins.

The next time that reminder pops up, do the same thing

Don’t judge the experience. Just be aware of it. Repeat this every day. When it feels right for you, you might decide to add a few more reminders throughout the day. In time, you may not even need the phone to remind you. Your awareness will shift, and you will become more mindful as a natural habit. Why? Because mindfulness feels really good. Even if for a brief moment, mindfulness takes us out of stress, worry, and anxiety. It takes us out of the “fight or flight” response. It is a brief but powerful reset button, and your whole body will feel it, even if you are not consciously aware of it. This is the journey into mindful awareness. A journey away from stress and into peace. A journey that begins with one single step. A journey that begins with one mindful moment.

So, take a step.

Take a breath.

Take a moment.

It all begins right now . . .

Adam is an author, transformational speaker, and stress management coach.  His powerful yet approachable and easy-to-understand wisdom have the potential to make a powerful shift in your life.  Combining ancient wisdom and modern science, he helps his clients achieve their personal and professional goals, free from stress and worry.

To learn more about Adam and the work that he does, visit www.walkwithadam.com

IG: @walk_with_adam

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