Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

Inviting Presence into Everyday Activities

Inviting Presence into Everyday Activities
By George Marino CPC, CMMT April 6th, 2022

For most of us, our busy schedules can prevent us from spending thirty minutes sitting quietly in meditation or focusing on the breath with eyes closed. The three-minute breathing space exercise is an effective way to start incorporating mindfulness practice into your workday, especially during the busy season. As a CPA, I find this practice very helpful.

This exercise is a direct way of coping with challenges characterized by the awareness and willingness to experience what is present. It consists of three components, each one about one minute long.

1. First, ask yourself the question: How am I doing right now? Focus attention on your inner perception. Notice which thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations you are experiencing. Try to translate your experience into words such as “I have self-critical thoughts” or “I feel anxious.” What are you feeling in your body? Perhaps it is tightness in the chest or belly area. Allow yourself to feel whatever is arising for you in this moment. You can acknowledge the feeling with self-care and loving kindness.

2. Next, focus attention on your breathing. Follow the flow of the inhale, the pause, and the outflow.

3. Finally, allow attention to expand to the rest of your body. Feel how your breath moves throughout your whole body. With every inhale you can feel your body expand a little, and with each exhale you can feel it shrink a little.

You can do this exercise several times a day, even when you are not being challenged. You will be building mindfulness credits! Here is a guided meditation for the three-minute breathing space from my YouTube channel: