Mindfulness is a way of being. It is a process rather than a product or end result. To be mindful is to deliberately draw our attention to, and stay connected with, what is occurring, both internally and externally, without judgment. It is being in the present moment, alert and aware of how we are feeling, including what we are seeing, thinking and doing.
A helpful way to understand mindfulness it is to think about what happens when we are taking a shower. When we shower, we may be instantly aware of stepping in the shower and beginning to shampoo our hair, but soon after, our minds are wandering to some event in the future or past. We may be reliving conversations, thinking about our to-do list, or solving problems, etc. We are anywhere other than in the present moment. We have essentially removed ourselves from fully experiencing the act of showering.
In this advanced era of wireless devices and other distracting gadgets, we’ve become disconnected from ourselves and our experiences. This makes us vulnerable to instant gratification-based decision making instead of making decisions based on how those decisions impact our lives. These distractions also rob us of being aware of and enjoying the present moment, whatever it may be.
The purpose of this Strategies for Mindful Living series is to put you in the driver’s seat in the most spectacular car in the world; your life. This series will provide you with inspiring stories, strategies and activities to support you in Mindful Living.
The more mindful we are, the greater the opportunity to choose how we want to experience life. With mindful living we can more easily choose to eat healthily, exercise more readily and speak to ourselves more kindly.
When our inner world supports us, our external life becomes empowering, rewarding and fulfilling. And isn’t it good to know you can choose to feel love, happiness, peace joy and other helpful and self supportive states?
I invite you to follow along with Anna’s story and learn how she overcame extreme challenges and learned how to truly support herself. You can participate in the activities and bring more mindfulness into your life starting today.
A life devoid of inner support and awareness can be devastating. Let me tell you a story about someone I once knew…
Anna was a highly successful CEO in charge of services that helped abused and neglected children and adults. Anna’s power and influence gained her national recognition for outstanding performance and dedication. As a workaholic, Anna poured every ounce of herself into her career.
She was in her late 50’s, never married and had few “real” friends. Even though successful at work, coworkers often made fun of Anna because of her awkwardness in social situations and not having a life, friends, or interests outside of work.
Truth is, Anna was lonely and depressed but she filled the emptiness with work. Work was her lover and “he” made her feel loved, needed and important.
This partnership however, took a heavy toll on Anna. As a child, she’d been abused, neglected and bullied; and instead of seeking help, she effectively shut off her feelings and chronically neglected her health. Over time Anna developed high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis and an autoimmune disorder.
With work as her excuse Anna continued to sacrifice her health and these problems progressively worsened. How could she find time to exercise, see the doctor or plan healthy meals when her job completely consumed her life? She used this excuse over and over and everyone bought it.
To those on the outside, Anna was powerful, important, and successful. She helped many people, but she neglected herself.
Deep inside a part of Anna worried about her health. She dreaded the consequences of her unhealthy life, but not enough to change her behavior. Instead she learned to cast that nagging inner voice aside, until that fateful night…
Anna was working at her computer preparing for a presentation when she felt an excruciating pain in her chest. She felt dizzy, nauseous and the last thing she remembered was falling out of her chair. She awoke in the hospital grateful for this second chance. Lying there, Anna vowed to make major life changes and take better care of herself.
This was a huge turning point for Anna. After seeking help, she learned about mindful living and made a commitment to support herself and turn her life around.
As she began journaling, she learned more about who she is at her core heart level, and with that knowledge she began to systematically examine and make changes in different areas of her life.
Anna began using the following powerful strategies and she saw immediate, positive results. She practiced tuning into her emotions and paying attention to the world around her. As a result, she felt more joy than she’d ever felt before.
Strategies for Mindful Living
1. Spend time alone and practice mindfulness meditation.
- Set aside 15-30 minutes each day to gently guide yourself in being in the moment and aware.
- Focus on your breathing and become aware of other sensations, such as how your body feels, how your clothes feel on your body, the temperature in the room and other physical sensations.
- Train yourself to even become aware of sensations inside your body, such as the feel of your heart beating and perhaps even how your muscles, tendons and bones feel.
- You can focus on sounds, other sensations, and even your thoughts and ideas without judgment. Instead, just notice, and if you get distracted, return your focus to your breathing.
2. Spend time in nature.
- The opportunities to practice mindfulness in nature are endless and can be extremely enjoyable.
- Notice the sights, sounds, scents and feelings as you immerse yourself in nature.
- You might also see what it feels like to blend your internal awareness with your external experience.
3. Make a commitment to yourself.
- Be determined and motivated to support yourself, no matter what.
- Instead of engaging in negative self talk, imagine putting duct tape on that voice and replacing it with positive and affirming comments that lift you up and bring you hope.
- You are the hub through which everything radiates. What you are thinking and feeling touches everything and everyone around you. Commit to creating a healthy mind-body life.
- Positivity begins with you.
4. Begin your own healing journey.
If you know you need healing, seek help and begin to heal from whatever has been holding you back.
5. Continue to learn.
Feed your data bank of wisdom and knowledge by learning something new. Take classes, live or online. What have you always wanted to learn? Pursue it. Your choices are endless. Challenge your brain to learn new information.
6. Commit to and activate your wellness plan.
Regular and consistent healthy eating and exercising feed your mind and body with helpful hormones and bring vitality to your entire mind-body experience. Add mindfulness and you’ve got a recipe for success.
7. Create a positive and supportive physical environment.
Clutter and unnecessarily holding on to “stuff” can drag you down. Purge your environment of anything that doesn’t support you. This will become abundantly clear as you add mindfulness to your life.
8. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who lift you up.
Sometimes it can be easy to get drawn into seeing only the negative and hopeless side of life, especially if it is expressed by the people in our lives. But learn to stay out of unnecessary conflicts, and avoid excessively negative people. Remember that the people we spend time with, whether friends, family or coworkers are helping to shape our brains, for better or worse.
9. Evaluate your life choices.
Take time to take stock of your life. Systematically notice how you feel in your relationships, personal life and your career with the overall goal of creating changes that support you.
As she implemented these strategies, Anna began to develop inner strength, and an appreciation and compassion for herself she’d never felt before. For the first time in her life she felt true joy. She could see it, touch it, sense it and hear it completely.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Anna and some of the strategies that turned her life around. Implement these strategies today and support yourself in creating a more mindful life.
Add this hypnosis recording to your mindfulness journey. This hypnosis recording, Mindfulness – A self Awareness Journey will support you in your mindfulness practice by increasing and expanding your awareness. Enjoy this soothing and relaxing journey while learning to shift your focus between sensations inside the body and awareness around you. Purchase it in the STORE
Strategies For Mindful Living,
Creating Work-Life Balance
As she recovered from her heart attack, Anna had a lot of time to think. Staring at the stark, a sterile hospital wall was a wake-up call. “I almost died” she realized with panic. A sense of despair came over Anna as she saw that her unhealthy life was to blame.
Her mom’s condemning words replayed over and again in her head like a broken record. “Why are you so lazy? Why can’t take care of yourself properly? You know better than that!” Anna’s mother still had the power to make her feel horrible, even though it had been a year since her passing. Truthfully, Anna was mad at herself for letting it get this far. And yes, she did know better.
Anna thought about the dysfunctional office where she worked. There was so much pressure. If you weren’t stressed, overwhelmed, and overburdened, often working through breaks and after hours, then you were not doing your job. That was the unhealthy office culture she faced every day.
Also adding to her stress levels was the fact that women had to work harder to be successful in this male dominated agency. For the first time in her life, Anna realized what she’d been tolerating and it made her angry! She was through with sacrificing her health and well being for success!
There was no question about it, Anna’s life had spun out of control. Her job totally consumed her, robbing her of time she could use to improve her health and well-being. She was stressed and exhausted all the time, and too fatigued to do anything else. Even if she did want to exercise, have fun, be more active and meet people, she simply didn’t have the time or energy.
Desperate and afraid, Anna didn’t want to waste this second chance, but she saw no solution to her problems. Her life consisted of working, eating and sleeping. But now, she needed and wanted more.
Anna knew she was at a crossroads in her life, but that well-beaten path of work, stress, and self-neglect was familiar and easy. Choosing the new path meant discomfort, dedication, and commitment, and frankly, she didn’t know if she could do it.
New Actions & Appreciations
Frustrated and angry, Anna looked for answers. She read books, scoured the Internet, and finally hired a hypno-coach.
As she poured out her feelings, the coach listened, and then directed Anna’s attention inward. When she looked deeply at her true wants and needs, it became clear – Anna wanted to create balance in her work and personal life. But she wanted it to be easy, and to fit in her busy life.
With the coach’s help, Anna realized she already had everything she needed inside to make positive changes. Excited and empowered, Anna began making new, healthy choices.
Though challenging, she talked to her boss about her goals. She started leaving work at a reasonable time and she avoided bringing work home unless essential.
Anna made the commitment to support herself, no matter how exhausted she felt. She started weighing decisions on a scale of whether they supported her goal of creating a balanced life or not.
She started a gratitude journal, each night adding to her list of things that made her grateful. And she asked herself questions like “What will I do to support myself today?”
She searched in her community, on the Internet and local colleges for fun activities, and enrolled in a painting class.
Self Esteem – Self Love
As a successful leader, Anna received numerous awards and praises for her accomplishments. Deep down though, she didn’t believe, trust or accept them. And she realized that the admiration, compliments, and recognition of others had little impact on her self-esteem and-self worth. When it came right down to it, Anna knew that it was her opinion of herself that really mattered most.
She knew she didn’t love herself – in fact she felt the opposite most of the time. Growing up, Anna was criticized, called names, bullied, and ridiculed. She loathed the way she looked and couldn’t see why anyone, including herself, could possibly love her.
Anna would often catch herself looking in the mirror and repeating unkind phrases like, “You are so fat and ugly,” and “Why are you so stupid?” It was as if her mother’s critical voice was a permanent fixture in her head. Anna didn’t know how she could possibly change these feelings. But she was willing to learn and open to try.
So at her coach’s suggestion, Anna began recognizing and acknowledging things she appreciated about herself and writing them down in her gratitude journal. One night she wrote, “I appreciate how much I care about helping those less fortunate.” When she wrote this she felt very emotional and got teary eyed. Finding positive things to write each day helped Anna begin to see and value herself in a whole new way.
As she channeled her focus in new areas, Anna became more aware and grateful for things she previously took for granted. She also began feeling more compassion for herself, which was a totally new perspective. She felt better about her life than ever before.
Mindfulness Strategies for Work-Life Balance
To help her feel more empowered, the hypno-coach led Anna through a powerful pmy-rocks-balanceersonal inquiry strategy to deepen her learning and increase her self-awareness.
Answering the following questions helped Anna begin to look inside for answers. She discovered what wasn’t working, and how it affected her life. This included the negative attitudes she had about herself.
The questions helped Anna think outside the box and discover she had choices. Knowing she had options was empowering to Anna. Feeling freer, more aware, and with a purpose to support herself, Anna created a solution, a goal and an action plan that she felt excited to implement.
The hypno-coach also taught Anna a breathing technique to instill her with inner calm in any situation, especially when experiencing work stress.
The hypno-coach gave Anna a Guided Meditation Recording, “Mindfulness, A Life in Balance” and encouraged her to listen daily. The prompts in the meditation would help Anna feel more centered and grounded, helping her create a balanced life.
You can follow along with Anna and also begin living a mindful and balanced life by participating in these activities. Grab a pen and paper and let’s begin.
Write down your answers to the following questions
- What issue or challenge is not supporting your work-life balance? Give it a rating from 1-10 with 1 having no negative effect, and 10 being completely intolerable.
- Describe the current situation. How does it feel? What affect does it have on your life?
- What personal meaning (about you) are you choosing to give this? (For example, do you believe you can never have fun, be healthy, make friends, lose weight, etc?)
Is that really true?
- If you could do anything without repercussions, what would you do about your current situation?
- What could you do instead of that? What else?
- What is an option you can live with and feel good about?
- How will implementing this support you?
- What support do you need?
- What will you do and when will you begin?
Slowly inhale through the nostrils to a count of 4, expanding the lower then upper lungs by filling the abdomen and chest. Hold the breath for 4 seconds, and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 8. Repeat this pattern 6 to 8 times. This technique naturally levels the emotions, calms the mind and body, and sends your awareness inward, while alleviating stress.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Write daily, either before bed or in the morning before your day.
- Listen to the guided meditation recording daily.
- Practice mindfulness daily.
- Take a Yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong class
- Join a Meetup group
- Practice affirmations
- Join a meditation class
This hypnosis recording, Mindfulness, A Life In Balance will help you learn to relax and enter a calm and self supportive, healing state. And as you become more relaxed you will access your inner wisdom in order to create and maintain balance in your life. You will see and feel your life from a different, empowering perspective.
Unlike so many people who are teetering on the edge of a health crisis, Anna is choosing to make positive changes in her life. It’s unfortunate that for so many of us, it takes a personal crisis to be a catalyst for choosing a healthy way of life.
My hope is that we all become proactive when it comes to mindful living. As we become more aware and support ourselves from the inside out, we can create memorable, enjoyable and meaningful moments while we share our lives together here on earth.
I hope you are enjoying following Anna’s journey toward mindful living. You too can begin using these strategies today, supporting yourself in your path to a healthier and mindful way of life.
Hypno-Coaching is a viable, alternative treatment modality with a proven track record of success in many areas. It is drug-free, calming, and enjoyable with no side affects. It can be the best choice in helping you or someone you know overcome problems, gain confidence, and perform better, improve your health and wellbeing and life a life of purpose, meaning and joy.
About The Author
Patricia Eslava Vessey PCC, CHt is the owner of Integrity Coaching & Training Systems, a personal development company dedicated to empowering people to succeed in their personal and professional lives. Patricia is passionately committed to supporting her clients and students in transforming, negative and destructive beliefs and behaviors into the empowered thoughts, feelings and behaviors so they can achieve their goals and live their best life. Her clients are groups and individuals. She works with all ages, including children whose lives are challenged by stress, anxiety, fears, phobias, lack of confidence, lack of focus and follow through, insomnia, addictions, excess weight, lack of motivation, self sabotage chronic pain, relationship problems and others. Using coaching, hypnotherapy, NLP and energy psychology in workshops and in hypnosis recordings and written material, she teaches people to empower themselves by harnessing the power of their mind. Her students and clients learn new skills as the reprogram their minds for success.
Phone: (206) 459-2898
Wishing you overflowing success!
©2016 Patricia Eslava Vessey… All Rights Reserved