A few years ago, my life changed dramatically with an unexpected career change from a lawyer into the pathway as a health, running, and positivity coach. I learned that I needed to detach from the pain of the past and the fear of the future and focus more on the present. A handful of gifted coaches helped introduce me to the topic: Leisa Peterson and Bruce Van Horn. The fragility of difficult unexpected life transitions can be assisted by including mindfulness and meditation routines as part of our daily practice. Leisa’s meditations in particular have been very helpful to me in becoming stronger and learning to let go and go with the flow.
Some of my asthma difficulties have been alleviated by including tai-chi in my workout routine as fundamental cross-training, helping me learn to relax my breathing. Tai-chi also helped me restore the natural means of belly breathing. This became obvious when a 22 mile training run was stretched to 26.2 a few years back simply by breathing naturally and correctly and being stronger on the inside believing I could run that far in training and not just during a race. I was stronger on the inside, strong enough to stretch my limits beyond what I thought my capacity or limits were at that time.
Life moves pretty fast sometimes but we need to slow down and focus on the moment and making the most of each gifted moment that we are allowed to unwrap.
Where to begin with mindfulness? What is mindfulness? For me, it is an acute awareness and appreciation of each moment being meaningful and being able to squeeze the juice out of each moment of our day. It requires a higher level of peace, quiet and listening. Cherishing every moment. Making every second count.
How do we do this? Many ways are available: meditation, music, tai-chi, creative art like origami cranes and zentangles, and sometimes just closing our eyes and envisioning something in particular or nothing at all. Certain meditation apps are available including Headspace and Insight Timer and there are countless mediations available on Youtue of varying quality.
Meditations can be led by others or by ourselves. It takes practice. Lots of practice. And just when you think you know everything about mindfulness, you realize you have only seen the very tip of the iceberg and have so much more to explore. Enjoy the journey!
We need to unleash our imagination and visualization power to make mindfulness work. Sometimes it’s just a matter of calming the “monkey mind” and creating an inner calm within any storm that life presents to us. Every storm can be defused by using mindfulness. We can use mantra words like calm, peace, serenity, energy, tranquility, serendipity, and relax. If we rotate these words regularly, they may be more effective.
Mindfulness strengthened me on the inside mentally and on the outside physically as a runner-athlete, helping me stretch my abilities from a struggling marathoner level to an unbridled ultrarunner running free.
What if we lose focus when we are practicing mindfulness? We can regain it. “Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times.” -Jack Kornfield
We have to keep creating and restoring that powerful inner space so we can have inner peace that radiates to the outside world, causing meaningful ripples that can change history.
Mindfulness blends perfectly with the positivity, health, and running coaching that I do. It reinforces the positivity base, keeps us centered and strong, and restores positivity when we need it. Mindfulness in essence acts as a daily opportunity to “reset” our lives if needed.
Need a pause button? Take a mindfulness break. Even if it’s 15 minutes, 5 minutes, or 1 minute. Every minute of that mental break strengthens us on the inside and outside so we can have a stronger, more confident impact upon the world in helping people in a meaningful way.
Mindfulness allows us to operate on a higher metaphysical plane. We don’t have to stoop to other people’s levels if they are trying to pull us downstairs. Find the metaphysical mindfulness plane that works for you and operate from there daily. Sometimes the 30,000 foot level may work, other times we need to be a little more grounded near the earth. Mindfulness keeps us grounded and humble.
Mindfulness allows us to keep an even keel and not overreact to everything. We learn to act instead of react. Mindfulness is an extremely powerful tool for us to have available in our toolchest in dealing with chaos of life and is a great skill to teach as a coach. Try it, it can help you internally, build your self-confidence, and improve your life and relationships with others. Be mindful of who you are, why you are here, and how to help and assist others in a meaningful way daily. Sometimes we need to just “be” instead of always trying to “become” all the time. Let your worries go. Just focus on the here and now. Relax!
Here’s an introductory blab I did on mindfulness in September 2015. Enjoy!