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Getting Started With Mindfulness Practice in Work and Life

Mindfulness PracticeBy George Marino CPC, CMMT February 5, 2021

Mindfulness practice is something you can do at any time. Even noticing that you are not practicing mindfulness is mindfulness—it’s that simple. You’ll reach a point when mindfulness is no longer something you do but rather what you’ve become. You know that a description of China is not China, nor is a map of China. To know China, one has to go there, and to know mindfulness, one has to live it daily. Not perfectly, of course, and that is one of its defining features. We return again and again to mindfulness.

I learned about the beginner’s mindset and how simple mindfulness meditation can be one day on a retreat. Halfway through the meditation, the teacher guiding our group said, “Now let’s begin our meditation.” She was pointing to the present moment. We are all beginners, you and I, and that makes mindfulness so much fun. The newness of each moment is a metaphoric “big bang.” Now, now, now.

That said, it is helpful to consciously remind yourself, in a way that suits you, to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. This can help you bring mindfulness into your workday and relationships. You are not required, nor is it preferable, to have a goal in mind as you start practicing mindfulness. The practice itself is the goal, and you can return to it again, literally moment to moment when distractions happen, as they will.

Mindfulness cannot be done in a right or wrong way. When the mind is distracted, gently and kindly accept this as part of your journey. This is a mindful act of self-compassion. The moment you realize you are not mindfully present, you are in fact already present.

It is helpful to acknowledge in yourself that you are walking around with so many thoughts swirling around in your head at any given moment in time. These thoughts are very often repetitive. This thought chatter, as it is called, can make you feel unfocused, in a fog, and often overwhelmed. This mind movie is withholding creativity from you and sometimes keeps you up at night.

The Three Minute Breathing Space Practice:

This exercise is a direct way of coping with challenges characterized by the awareness and willingness to experience what is present.

The exercise 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.

I help people who may be experiencing stress, anxiety and boredom, or who are in transition in work and life tap into their own creativity, resourcefulness and compassion to live a life they love!

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