Is it me, or has it been a little heavy around here lately? From goals, to personal mission, meaningful work, and even social injustice, we’ve been doing some deep-end diving around here. This week in particular, we talked about the ways in which mindfulness is being incorporated into the training of future global business leaders at a top US business school – one of several campus initiatives we’ve covered recently. These are all really important topics, and are indicative of the scope of impact a little mindful perspective can have in so many areas of our lives.
For this weekend’s mindfulness challenge, maybe it’s time to take it down a notch. After all, while the effects of living a mindful lifestyle can be externally apparent in the ways in which we handle ourselves, interact with others, and respond to the world around us, the source of all those behaviors and actions is a simple practice that starts within you. While there are lots of ways to cultivate mindfulness in your daily life (breathwork, meditation, yoga, walking, etc…), if you don’t choose a practice you like, you aren’t going to do it. It doesn’t have to be intense, overly serious or solemn. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy – that’s not the point – but your mindfulness practice should be something you look forward to as part of your daily routine. As you’ve heard me say before, the only type of mindfulness that works is the one that you actually do.
This is your weekend to recommit. If you haven’t been keeping up with your practice lately, start again. Once today, tomorrow, then Sunday. You can do it. Set aside 2, 3 or 5 minutes to catch your breath. Use an app, or whatever you need. Take a mindful walk, notice the sun or the grass or the traffic – anything to know that you are paying attention to the present moment. Don’t just think about it or plan for it. Do it. You do have the time. You just spent the same or longer on Snapchat, or your latest handheld occupation. This takes even less time, but over the time effects don’t disappear, but accumulate in the form of calm, clarity and focus.
If, on the other hand, you feel you’ve been a mindfulness rockstar lately, high five. Keep it up. Or perhaps this weekend, step it up. Extend your practice duration or frequency. Add in some reflecting or writing afterwards. If you’ve only ever done breathwork, try some yoga or other mindful movement. It might be time to get uncomfortable again, and see what else there is to learn out there in your mindfulness journey.
The idea this weekend is to reconnect with your fundamentals, or maybe discover some new ones. If you’ve never tried this before, check out the guided meditations at the bottom of this page. There’s something for everyone with mindfulness, but there’s nothing if you don’t get started.
Photo credit: Redd Angelo