So You Think Mindful Meditation Is NOT for you…
The general commonality of entrepreneurs and forward-thinking folx these days is that they have a practice that anchors them daily as they go about killin’ it at being their amazing boss-ass selves. Some people have hopped onto the bandwagon of mindfulness and talk it up to no end. But what if the mindfulness train seems to you like a round trip ticket to.. Well… exactly that -- a never-ending circle of getting nowhere? Read this three-minute read to discover how you can dissolve the idea of “I failed at mindfulness”.
Yes, it’s true that an invitation to sit still with our monkey minds is not exactly attractive to people who like to get shit done. As a recovering workaholic myself, I found this notion just as anxiety provoking as it is terrifying to my Type A, outcome-oriented personality. How will I get shit done if I become okay with not getting shit done?! In this article I will outline some simple steps to begin unlocking the Sacred Mindful Practitioner within you.
This if for you if:
Your girlfriend has invited you to try Headspace or Calm, more than a few times.
You don’t “have time” for a meditation practice.
You’re a beginner and have no flippin’ clue what to think.
You’ve tried and given up on the idea of being someone who “gets up every morning and meditates”.
Your stress levels are above 7/10 and don’t have time to research what’s what in the wellness world.
Let me interpret for you: all roads lead to mindfulness.
What does that mean?
It means that mindfulness is not the same as meditation. Mindfulness can be as simple as tuning in to what is happening in the present moment. It doesn’t require a meditation cushion or an altar or a dedicated space. In fact, it requires you to do nothing other than what you’re already doing. This is the first step I teach in aligning yourself to your own nature-based mindfulness. What else?
My Top 3 Tips if you think Mindfulness is NOT for you:
1. Tune into one sense at a time while doing a task that is part of your every day.
Distill what is happening around you so that it’s really easy to understand. It’s like pretending to talk to that favourite lil kid in your life. For example, while cooking or washing dishes, try these simple prompts:
“I see three clouds in the sky right now”
“I hear a bluejay family hanging out in the tree”
“I feel the wind dancing around my shoulders and ears”
“I taste the burst of flavour on my tongue”
“I smell the coffee in both of my nostrils this morning”
2. Anchor yourself daily with tools you already use.
As I said earlier, the most successful and humble people amongst us are the ones who do have some sort of daily practice. That doesn’t mean you have to spend 60 minutes every morning copying their routine -- that’s not going to serve you. Try this instead:
Take 1 mindfully aware breath before brushing your teeth in the morning;
Wear a bracelet, essential oil, or crystal that you can “turn to” in a moment of stress or uncertainty throughout your day;
Putting your feet on the floor and your hands together on your lap or on your heart for just one moment before you start your day can make all the difference. (This can be done at any time throughout the day too!)
3. Challenge what you think you know about succeeding at mindfulness.
It doesn’t have to be a certain amount of minutes in a certain place or certain time. It is whatever you want it to be, because it is your own practice. Your practice can be the same every day and your practice can change tomorrow if you need it to. Being open to learning with a beginner’s mind is a key pillar in the mindful journey. (More on mindful pillars in a later blog).
What implications does this have for you going forward?
Your journey is not all about exercising your “willpower” to keep you moving forward and achieving. Quite frankly, “I didn’t will myself hard enough” is one of the first negative self-talk patterns to start chattering in my head when I “fail” at something.
So, success in mindfulness isn’t about commanding your thoughts to calm down or overpowering your mind/body to perform a task. On the contrary, success is when you gain insight into the present moment and sense into your self and your surroundings. It is this observing and returning to practice that really allows your body to enter back into a homeostatic state of balance, perfection, and contentment.
Going forward, it’s important to have a support team behind you including wellness practitioners, friends, family, clergy, and/or whoever else may be helpful for you. Reawaken Co Mindfulness can help you get there. You got this!
Erin Edwards (they/them) is a non-binary, nature-based mindfulness guide for folx in the coaching & wellness professions. After writing their first bestselling book, A Drink Called Mindfulness, they began integrating the wisdom of naturopathic medicine, exercise physiology, queer theory, and nature to create Reawaken Co Mindfulness: a global virtual healing center. Erin helps YOU come to terms with your (im)perfection & bash binary thinking while developing strengths to honour & expand your gifts to the world. Check out their book, online MBSR Course: Mindful Bliss, Inspiring Insights Podcast, and other down-to-Earth resources at https://theerinedwards.com/