What causes you to feel stressed or even overwhelmed?

Start by making a list of all your stressors. (This might be stressful!)

Look at your list. Take a few breaths. Put a “C” next to all the stressors you have control of.

Take a few more breaths. Try to let go of what you don’t have control of. Focus on what you do have control of.

Pick the top five things you’d like to address in the next sixth months. What feels most important to address now? What’s screaming at you?

Set a goal. Determine one thing you will do today, tomorrow, and for the next week. This should be a minuscule goal, something so easy that it feels silly to even be considered a goal.

It’s about being aware that you’re taking a tiny step every day towards alleviating the stress or solving the problem. This awareness is critical.

When we’re overwhelmed we freeze. We don’t see clearly. We don’t access our inner or outer resources. Instead of getting overwhelmed we can focus on the one step we are taking each day to move in the direction we wish to move in.

It is possible to create an authentic life one moment, one step, and one breath at a time.

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Mindfulness in the workplace has become a hot topic these days as organizations strive to achieve business excellence, drive employee engagement, and manage constant change. The challenge is that the very use of mindfulness to accomplish anything goes against the teachings of the practice.

Mindfulness involves bringing your attention to the moment you’re in right now with a gentle, open mind. You’re aware of breathing, thoughts, feelings, sensations, sounds, and surroundings. You note whatever’s happening with compassion for self, others, and the circumstance.

Here’s the million-dollar question. How do we translate the benefits of this ancient practice to transform modern workplace culture and develop sustainable business practices?

You don’t need to be sitting on top of the conference table with your legs crossed and eyes closed, chanting, bowing, and burning incense. There are basically two ways to practice mindfulness: formally and informally.

Mindfulness practice helps us build resilience, have more energy, focus on what’s important, stay calm and avoid reacting, improve relationships, sleep better, be patient, feel compassion, and be effective. Mindfulness helps us feel a sense of work-life, web-life balance.

I hope you’ll join me November 16-17 at Copper Beech Institute where I’ll be facilitating The Mindful Path to Leadership training.

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Mindfulness is simply about being more present in the moment. It’s about being open to what is possible or knowing what the moment is calling for.

It was a long day at work and I stopped for gas on the way home. It was a scorching 97 degrees. Another woman was pumping gas on the other side. The clerk came out and was emptying the trash receptacle. The three of us were within five feet of one another.

I felt drawn to say something and connect with them. I said, “We’ll have to remember this day in January when it’s 10 degrees out!” They both chimed in on the conversation about the heat and we had a few laughs.

I noted in that moment feeling nourished and uplifted.

Mindfulness helps us to foster connection and compassion for each other. See if you can create a moment such as this today.

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If you’re like most people you’re rushing from one task to the next on “automatic pilot”. We often catch ourselves wondering where the time has gone. Mindfulness helps us be more present in the moments of the day. This slows down the pace of life.

Being present in the moment, especially the positive moments, energizes us. Here’s how it works. When something ‘good’ happens, we usually acknowledge it for a second, if at all, and then zip on to the next item on our task list.

Try this instead. Pause and follow your breathing in and out 3 times. Notice the positive feelings you experience. You may note happiness, contentment, joy, relief, satisfaction, fulfillment, gratitude, or relaxation.

Here are some examples of positive moments:
• Someone sends you a thank you email
• Someone smiles at you
• Someone helps you accomplish a task
• You’re eating lunch (You have food!)
• You’re walking down the hallway (Your legs work!)
• Your manager/supervisor gives you a compliment
• You solve a problem
• You receive news that makes you happy
• You notice a beautiful bird, flower or sunrise
• You have a conversation with a co-worker about something fun you’re planning
• A meeting gets cancelled and you have time to get work done
• You have a moment of validation (Hey I really know my stuff!)
• You’ve helped someone else

We can retrain our brains to acknowledge the positive moments in our day. This will reduce stress and build resilience.

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As parents we’re also mentors. Mentoring is about developing your own personal leadership brand.

What do you stand for? What are the most important things you want your children to learn from you? Or remember about you?

Mindfulness will help you know yourself more deeply. It will help you be more authentic and trust the intention behind your decisions.

One of the best gifts you can give your children is to model being happy. When we as parents are running around stressed out it causes our children to feel anxious.

Pause and ask yourself if racing your kids from one activity to the next with no downtime is how you wish to remember these years.

We all need time to relax and just be. Mindfulness will help you to not miss the little things; like when your child is excited to show you something, a smile or a hug.

Being fully present for just a few minutes can go a long way. It can help you feel nourished and help your child feel valued.

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