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The Beauty of Mindfulness and Why You Need to Practice It

How will I ever get over this?

This is the question most people ask when circumstances that don’t make sense play out in life.

  • An anticipated promotion doesn’t happen.
  • The contract your best client promised doesn’t go through.
  • One of your trusted employees embezzles money.

Research shows great leaders practice mindfulness.

Perhaps that sounds like pop psychology, yet, while it may feel good, mindfulness isn’t fluff.

Dr. Ellen Langer, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University wrote Mindfulness in 1989 – and has been doing research on the subject ever since re-publishing it in 2014.

She’s discovered it’s the magic formula to leadership effectiveness.

In her blog, she shared that after 30 years of research, “increasing mindfulness increases charisma and productivity, decreases burnout and accidents, and increases creativity, memory, attention, positive affect, health, and even longevity. When mindful we can take advantage of opportunity and avert the dangers that don’t yet exist. This is true for the leader and the led.”

Last year I shared that I experienced a series of set-backs that rocked me to my core.

I began questioning the work I was doing and whether I had done something seriously wrong to bring this into my life.

After diving deep into my own forgiveness work, I created new possibilities in my business that I never would have imagined – and I had one of the most successful events in over a decade of leading events.

When people ask me how I got through one of the hardest seasons of my life, I share that I chose to experience the hurt rather than run from it.

I found hope in the middle of potentially devastating circumstances – and one of the keys was mindfulness.

Being mindful is being conscious and aware of the present moment, actively noticing what you’re feeling in your body and mind.

In the past I would have distracted myself with more work vs. choosing to be still and dive in deeper to what I was experiencing.

I would have created a tactical solution – a way out – or simply quit.

By choosing to be mindful, I was able to hear my soul speak. (And, I wrote a previous Upside Thought sharing how I heard God’s voice speak to me.)  

Once I overcame the feeling that I would never move past the pain, I was able to take steps that were freeing, liberating me from my own prison cell.

So much of the experience was created by my busy mind.

Yes, I had “lost” tens of thousands of dollars and the circumstances were real – and I realized that each situation was exacerbated by the thoughts swimming through my mind.

It brought me back to a piece of art that hung in my office when I was working for the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Customs and Border Protection.

Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your character. And, your character becomes your destiny.

Ah, there it was – designing MY destiny.

Is this really what I wanted?

To carry these hurts with me everywhere I went?

Not really.

It was exhausting and felt heavy.

So back to the original question – how will I ever get over this?

One step at a time.

One step at a time, my friend.

That’s the beauty of mindfulness and being in the present moment.

Action

The Upside Thought of the week is to examine where you may be struggling.

Apply mindfulness: Practice being present with how you feel physically and emotionally.

Choose to lovingly accept how you feel even if it isn’t comfortable or what you want to be feeling. (This doesn’t mean accept as if it’s a punishment. To accept is more like being present with it in the moment rather than fighting in it and with it.)

Note how your experience changes.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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