5 Mindfulness Practices to bring Light to your Life!
We live in a fast paced world.
We rush from place to place. We stare at screens. We keep our earphones in. We don't make eye contact.
We get wrapped up in our head. We focus on ourselves. We obsess over trivial matters.
We forget to be where we are.
We forget about the importance of human connection.
We forget to be kind.
If you, like me, fall into this trap, here are 5 easy mindfulness practices to reverse the nonsense and turn it into HIGH QUALITY ~ HIGH VIBES
1. Smile! Sometimes we go around, totally unaware of our own energetic presence. We are not aware or mindful of our own emotional state of being. You might relate if anyone has ever told you that you have RBF, or resting-bitch-face. Here is a superb way to invite mindfulness into your life: SMILE! Smiling is contagious. Sprinkle that shit everywhere! Smile at passers-by, at the bus driver, and mailman. Smile at coworkers and neighbors. Smile sweetly at loved ones, with awe for the gifts of their presence. Lift the corners of your lips up towards your ears, show some teeth and share the good energy. A smile is the shortest distance between people, and opens the door for communication and understanding. Deep and meaningful connection starts with openness, and willingness to share, and that starts with a smile. INSIDER TIP: The best is smiling at people who look grumpy and don't expect to be infected by your joy. You get to witness your good vibes transmit to another being and turn into something good.
2. Actively Listen Being mindful and present is hard with the plethora of distractions available to us. Busy schedules and technology seem to increase our socialization but do not increase our ability to truly connect. To counter this, try active listening. Make a point of tuning in and being receptive in communication with others. Take off your headphones. Let the text messages wait. Your phone is a convenience, let it stay that way. If you are in the middle of a conversation, be all there. Listen with the intention of understanding, don't just wait to respond. Sometimes just being present, and holding space for someone, is more important than anything you might reply. Let others be heard the way you would want to be heard. Make them feel understood because you are actively listening! Be mindful of the interaction. INSIDER TIP: When you actually listen to what people tell you, you feel their human-ness. Remember what they had to say, and the next time you see them, follow up, ask what is going on with the X Y Z. Listening actively can flourish into friendship. It is that simple.
3. Leave things as you find them (or better!) This is a simple, straightforward idea but takes a lot of discipline to practice consistently. Take note of the way a space looks when you arrive to it. When you leave, make sure it looks the same! We all know how annoying that person who left the free-weights all over the gym is. Don't be that guy. Clean up after yourself, take care of the tools and spaces that serve you. Clean the dishes you dirtied and leave the sink empty. Make your bed in the morning. Throw out your own trash. Leave all the spaces you enter, all the tools you use, exactly as they were when you arrived. Take it deeper even, notice the subtle effect you impress upon others with your presence. How does your energy and behavior impact those around you? How do they feel when you leave? Make it your mission to leave spaces and people (better than!) the way you found them. INSIDER TIP: First leave things as you find them, then leave them better. Let your presence, energy and light be passed onto others. Leave others feeling full, happy, inspired, recharged. 4. Be Patient We always want people to be patient with us, but when it is our turn to be patient, our fuse is short and our irritability long. Check in with yourself throughout the day (aka practice your mindfulness,) when you find yourself short-tempered. In that moment, invite the sensation of patience into your body. Spare an extra 7 seconds to patiently hold the door for someone walking behind you...are you in such a rush that dropping the door in someones face is worth it? When waiting in a long line at the post office: be patient, your box will get shipped out. When you're on the phone with AT&T for 2 hours because the internet went out: be patient, your internet will eventually be restored. When people are cutting you off on the entrance to 95 at rush hour: be patient, you will get home. When you feel cantankerous and impatience looming, pause. breathe. be patient. just the way you want others to be with you. INSIDER TIP: While training yourself to be patient with others, to pause and breathe, you create a great opportunity to SMILE, to Actively Listen, and to Leave Things a Little Better then you Found them. Use this practice to keep your other practices in check!! 5. Give Genuine Compliments
This one has the word Give in the title, so it must be good! Offer others true, honest and meaningful compliments. It feels good to receive compliments, but even better to give them! The closer your relationship to the person, the further impact your admiration and respect is received. The more thoughtful and specific the compliment, the stronger the impact. Genuine compliments go a long way to lift others spirits and represent a simple act of giving. When you give a genuine compliment you are also giving someone a reminder that they too inspire others! Tell strangers how much you love their scarf. Tell the waiter what an excellent job they've done. Tell Jimmy on the phone from AT&T that you appreciate his help, even if the issue isn't quite resolved. From here transition into more meaningful compliments: tell your Mom how much you admire her resilience and poise in facing the obstacles life has placed in front of her. Tell your boss what a powerful role model he is, how his support and encouragement help you succeed. Tell your best friend how proud of her you are for following her dreams, for taking a leap of faith and flying! Tell others that they inspire you. Tell others that they are doing something right! Tell others that when you think of courage, of kindness, of love, that you think of them.
INSIDER TIP: At first it might feel awkward to share feelings in this way, but once you get in the habit of it and compliments start flowing it stops feeling awkward and it starts feeling like such a blessing! By making others feel good about themselves, you feel good about yourself. You become a source of light. And as that light that you are grows, the light that others are grows too.
There are many opportunities to be mindful throughout the day. With mindfulness practices we foster deeper connections, we develop as individuals and we become ever more self-aware. When we practice mindfulness, we create light not only for ourselves, but for all beings!
It is through the accumulation of our seemingly small mindfulness practices that we grow to our fullest potential. We are able to offer the truest blessing: the gift of our presence. Through doing good unto others we do good unto ourselves.
Leave things better then you find them.
Give Genuine Compliments.
Lift the heart and spirit of self and others.