When we practice mindfulness, we are learning to be a hero of consciousness.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Ashley Batz
What come to mind when you think of a hero? For many people, it can involve risking one’s own life to save another. The media loves displaying such acts, and most of us secretly shudder at the thought of actually being in the place of these brave men and women.
What if you could be a hero of consciousness, where the person you were saving was yourself?
How could your own mindfulness practices be a catalyst for bolder and more generous contributions to yourself and others without risking life and limb?
Declare yourself a hero of consciousness. Reading this post and the many other actions you take to better yourself in support of others warrants a big pat on the back and a hearty handshake.
“We are the gatekeepers of our expectations.”
Image from Unsplash by Georg Eiermann
Earlier this month a good friend asked me to help launch his boat and take it to his dock about an hour away from where it was stored for the winter.
During this process, we traveled through various bays and canals that required bridges to be raised for us to pass. As an inexperienced land lubber, I found the gatekeeping process that allowed our passage fascinating.
When we repeat the process in October, I’ve been promised to be promoted to co-captain for an hour with a short stint of steering the boat in open water, of course.
Where do your experience various types of gatekeepers in your life?
How would being more mindful of your personal and professional expectations help you avoid some of the stormy seas of life?
“If you can go to bed late, you can also get up early.”
Image from Unsplash by mostafa mahmoud
Are you an early bird of a night owl? How would you describe your current circadian rhythm?
What are the personal and professional benefits and pitfalls of operating this way?
As an early bird myself, I find it easy to make my case of why the early bird gets the worm.
On the down side, I’ve been labeled a party-pooper by a number of folks over the years as they point out all the excitement I often miss by turning in early.
Seek out people in your life who operate best at different points in their days.
Have them share all the ups and down they have discovered over the years.
What priority commitment do you have that might benefit from swapping out when your head hits and rises from your pillow?
“We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate.”
—Bruce Lee, 20th Century Hong Kong/American martial artist and actor
Image from Amazon
My wife and I are fans of the show American Idol. We have been watching it for many years and consider this year’s contestants to be some of the best.
The judges, mentors, and vocal coaches this season have been particularly prominent in helping the Idol hopefuls evolve and develop their own unique voices and styles.
When participants take the path of least resistance and safety by imitating the original artists they tend to fall by the wayside and get sent home.
Where have you placed too much faith in imitating others in your personal or professional life?
When and how would finding and expressing more originality offer greater rewards that are worth the risk?
Consider checking out Adam Grant’s book, Originals for more insights into being the one and only you.
Seek opportunities to be more active.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Anupam Mahapatra
We all know exercise does a body good. Here are some benefits you may already know, and perhaps a few you don’t:
- Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss.
- Exercise combats health conditions and diseases including stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, depression, anxiety, arthritis, and many types of cancer.
- Exercise improves your mood and boosts your energy.
- Exercise promotes better sleep
- Exercise can help put the spark back in your love life for both men and women.
- Exercise can expand your connections with family and friends.
In what ways can and will you introduce more opportunities to be more active each day?
Consider checking out the Mayo Clinic for more information.
“Deconstruct the cool things you see… Don’t just taste the recipe, look for the ingredients.”
Image from Unsplash by Gareth Hubbard
I consider myself a better than average cook, and can whip up something tasty from my fridge and cupboard on most days. I have a modest number of go-to dishes, and find myself using the same ingredients and seasonings over and over.
A few weeks ago, while waiting during a doctor visit, I found myself captivated by a cooking show called The Kitchen. Watching the masterful chefs and celebrity cooks create simple and tasty dishes with ingredients I have on hand — and never considered using — was a breakthrough in my thinking.
What would be the benefit of deconstructing other aspects of life besides what’s for dinner?
What are the ingredients you can use to whip up better relationships, career success, and a healthier, more meaningful life?
“He never chooses an opinion, he just wears whatever happens to be in style.”
—Leo Tolstoy, 19th Century Russian, regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time
Image from Unsplash by Hermes Rivera
Wendy and I recently saw the film AIR — the story of how Nike pursued Michael Jordan to wear their basketball shoes.
One of the companies also competing for this sponsorship opportunity was Converse. At Creighton Elementary in the sixties and early seventies, having a pair of Chuck Taylors was a must. Any alternative sneakers were called Bo-Bo’s and this meant certain school yard ridicule and razzing.
To what degree can you relate to similar types of peer pressure and the need to conform? How does this influence your thoughts, beliefs, and social norms? Where do you find yourself going along to get along?
Where and how did you develop your current thinking about life?
How often do you stick with popular opinion and what’s in style?
Where do you feel the tug to go in another direction and still hesitate?
“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
—Henry David Thoreau, 19th Century naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Arek Adeoye
Taking a walk in the morning is one of my most enjoyable habits. Watching the sun rise, acknowledging my early bird neighbors, and getting a bunch of enthusiastic greeting from the dogs who take their owners for a stroll are some highlights.
Early last week I got an extra special hello from Rosie and Jacque, both Golden-doodles, as they jumped and nuzzled into my arms, awaiting their expected belly rubs. The experience felt like a gift from God.
Consider reading or re-reading Thoreau’s classic book, Walden to examine the many blessings he discovered through his two-year immersion into the natural world.