Practicing Mindfulness

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With winter cold right around the corner, the fall season is a time to re-group, re-focus and renew. Having returned to PR for small businesses two years ago, as well as, entering my eighth year of blogging – six of which I have owned That Girl At The Party – this summer, like the two before this one, was a blur of activity for me.

Recently, I realized that, despite getting the word “breathe” tattooed on my right wrist to remind me to do so, I often get so busy that I barely breathe.  In addition, I was recently having a converstaion with someone about how socially inept everyone has become because social media has destroyed all graces and actual connections and replaced it with robotic coldness. Nowadays, people do things to each other, both personally and in business, that would never have been accepted in the past. And this is due to a lack of mindfully connnecting to the true Self.

As always happens, a validation and a solution to this dilemma was sent to me by the wonderous Spirit, that I call God, but you may call something else. I was flipping channels when I happened upon “60 Minutes”, which I haven’t watched in ages. I was ready to continue channel surfing when a voice said to stay put. When the show returned from commercial, the always fascinating Jon Sabat-Zinn was being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on the fundamentals and benefits of practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is vital to surviving our crazy, always switched on and tuned in world. We are so connected that we are completely disconnecting. We eat, sleep, work and play in trances of automated hurriedness. I recognized from Mr. Zinn’s words just how true this was for me.  I work up to seventeen hours a day, then veg out watching TV or surfing social media. I often have 3 screens going at once – my laptop, phone, and iPad both at work and at play.  Therein, lies the reason, my Life is going past in such a blur. Right after the segment, I decided to go on a tech and TV diet for 30 days and see how it changes me.  Almost immediately after turning the TV off, I felt different and more aware, so I plan to try to continue to switch off and to also study up on mindfulness.  While I won’t be completely tuned out – hell, Empire is getting ready to return and I can’t resist a good trashy Lifetime movie! – I do intend to limit my exposure to outside influences as much as possible.

Here are four helpful tools to start your own mindfulness practice

1. Just Breathe – Remembering to breathe is paramount to good health for the mind, body and Spirit. Adding five to ten deep breaths every hour will completely change how you feel.

2. Use guided meditations – It is easy to meditate if you use a guided recording.  I downloaded a ton of great ones that focus on Mindfulness from Spotify.  Pair with a wireless headphone – my favs are JBL Synchros or Kicker Tabor.

3. Add aromatherapy – I am MAD for aromatherapy right now. Coupled with breathing, a whiff of the right scent for the mood you want to achieve will completely relax you. I have a ton of favorites including Adoratherapy, Auria CaciaIntelligent Nutrients and Tata Harper. (I will be doing another post on healing with aromatherapy later this fall).

4. Pick a joyful word – I use one word to re-focus my energy whenever I feel myself traveling into a negative headspace or I need to be more mindful.  Pick a postive word, like “Joy” or “Peace”, to bring you back into balance.

5. Practice EFT – This is another amazing tool I just discovered that really works to bring me back into focus. EFT is Emotional Freedom Techinique Tapping, which utilizes light tapping on various chakras to release blocked energy.  Since blocked energy keeps you from being mindful by directing your energy in other places, it is essential to release it. There are tons of YouTube videos to get you started.

 

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