According to a 2014 article in Time magazine, mindfulness meditation is becoming popular among people who would not normally consider meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as “moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness.”
Yet, meditation or other formal practices are not the only reliable pathways to fulfillment. We can also use life as it is occurring to expand self-awareness.
Use the 7 Simple Practices to Expand Awareness and Fulfillment to discover everyday practices to generate the benefits mindfulness. Set your intention to become more aware of what you think, feel and do. Pay attention. Make choices based on present moment awareness. Observe and gently put in the correction.
- “Kindle Kindness” – develop light-hearted self-talk that encourages rather than berates.
- “Embrace Ambiguity” – shift from concern with the unknown to laughter in the face of it.
- “Ask, Don’t Tell” – offer support rather than advice to be more present in interpersonal relationships. Inquire about the other person’s needs, ideas and heart’s desires. Reserve your opinions for those who ask for them.
- “Mind Your Body” expands awareness of messages of hunger, thirst, fatigue, stress, tension, disease and fine-tune your ability to listen to other physical messages. Simple awareness practices can open the door for change:
- An athlete who pays attention to signals from her body that it’s time to take a water break.
- A man who learns to recognize when he is eating beyond the point of being hungry.
- An office work who notices the need to stand more at work.
- “Hit the Snooze Alarm” – a practice of intentionally suspending judgment and postponing decision-making until one can see things more clearly.
- “Predict the Future” – use awareness of what you already know about a person, event, place or thing to help anticipate the likely outcome. If a friend is late most of the time, assume that she will be late again and circumvent the stress!
- “Befriend NO!” – a valuable discernment technique to take a stand for your well-being by appropriately asserting your “no” clearly, loudly, and with conviction.
Billie Frances of Guiding Mindful Change is a Master Coach, Trainer, and Speaker. Learn more at guidingmindfulchange.com