Pause when provoked.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordan
What would be possible if you resisted the urge to judge and criticize others?
Where could an intentional pause allow you to pivot in a better direction when you are hooked by what others say and do?
Unfortunately, the time between stimulus and response seems to keep getting shorter and shorter.
Our urgent need to get things done, multitask, and speed though the unsavory parts of our lives often has us shoot before we aim.
Who are the people in your life that push your buttons and provoke you?
What are some frequent topics or events that trigger heated emotions and upsets?
What approaches can you take to mindfully pause before your amygdala is hijacked?
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.
“Meditation applies the brakes to the mind.”
Image from Unsplash by Jan Kopřiva
Over the past several years I have become increasingly fascinated by my meditation practice and other mindfulness activities.
In my experience, meditation has never stomped on the brakes to bring my mind to a complete stop.
It does, however, help me tap the brakes to slow things down, so that I may take in my inner and outer worlds at a calmer and more peaceful pace.
Where might meditation and other alternative mindfulness practices help you slow down your mind to more fully experience your days at a more optimal pace?
Awaken to each new day. Be mindful that it is a miracle.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Davide Cantelli
Many of us live our lives on auto pilot. We start our days by pushing the button of our programing, proceeding from task to task with little thought except to move to the next and the next.
Perhaps this is why we so enjoy the novelty of travel, in which each day brings new sights, sounds, and tastes for us to experience. Instead of having to leave our home and communities to see what’s new and different, maybe we can tune our senses to their miracle settings. Maybe we can delight in the wonders around us we often miss out of habit.
How can you be far more mindful of the miracles around you as you navigate your days? How would turning on and tuning in to your super senses help you embrace those special moments of living, without ever leaving home?
How often do you play thought dominoes where one thought cascades into another and another?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Bradyn Trollip
When was the last time you saw a domino exhibition? How long did it take to topple all the tiles? How many hours or even days did it take to set up?
Domino experts know all too well that one slip of the hand can destroy much of their effort well before showtime. Given this possibility, they almost always place blocking structures to stop the cascade of tiles to limit the damage.
How can you use your own mindfulness efforts as tools to slow or stop the domino thinking that can sometimes topple your days?
Mindfulness and concentration are interdependent. Concentration is the magnifying glass and mindfulness is the light.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Stephen Kraakmo
How fired up have you been feeling lately? Who are the people and what are the things that spark your interest and grab your attention? To what degree are you fully engaged and focused on aspects of your life that light up your heart and soul?
Think back to a time when you first used a magnifying glass. How long did it take you to learn that they could not only enlarge the objects you were viewing, but also focus the sun’s light to make fire?
How mindful are you as you go about your typical day?
What is the wattage of your awareness lighting your path?
How often do you take the time to truly concentrate on your relationships and daily activities to set your life ablaze?
Where and how could greater mindfulness and concentration fire up and brighten up your life?
“Re-examine all that you have been told. Dismiss that which insults your soul.”
—Walt Whitman, 19th Century American poet, essayist and journalist
Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler
In our journey toward greater mindfulness and self-awareness it can be helpful to stop and re-examine our own perspectives and views of the world around us.
Where and when did you first become aware of specific beliefs?
What factors had you embrace them as your own?
To what degree do you remain open to examining your thinking and not simply accepting what you’ve been told to believe and how to act?
Just because we have done something a particular way for many years does not necessarily mean it is the way to go when you have new information to consider.
What are some of your current beliefs that no longer serve you? How might revisiting your thinking through a more soulful lens help you live a more fulfilling and meaningful life?
“We have two lives, and the second one begins when we realize we only have one.”
—Attributed to Confucius
Image from Medium.com
Groundhog Day with Bill Murray is one of my favorite movies. Beyond its humor is the central message of waking up to our lives anew each day.
Take a close look at your life. Examine each day of the past week, month, or even the past year or so. Can you see each moment with clarity, or do things look more like a train speeding by?
I’ve practiced a daily meditation over the past five years. I’ve found this simple — yet often not easy — daily discipline has slowed me down considerably. I have become more mindful and aware of how I navigate my days.
How and in what ways can you apply the wisdom of today’s quote to realize and not miss any possibilities in your precious life?
“It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”
—John Guare, American Playwright
Image from Unsplash by Leonardo Yip
Time travel is not just possible. Today’s quote suggests that we all do it daily in our thoughts. Through forms of mindfulness such as meditation or leisurely walks in nature we can view our thinking mind with greater perspective and objectivity.
How often do you review or replay the events of yesterday with a critical eye of what worked and what didn’t? How self-satisfied or perhaps upset do you feel about various events, efforts, and interactions? How easy is it to let these thoughts go, be present, and look toward the future you intend to create?
The power of a vision is miraculous in that it pulls us like a tractor beam in a sci-fi space adventure. This gravitational attractive force is a critical element of self-leadership—and leadership in general—when we are intentional about thinking and speaking about a bright future.
How can and will your own self-leadership efforts to speak and create many better tomorrows make up for any yesterdays that didn’t go as you hoped? What would be the value of doing this exercise on a daily basis?
“If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much.”
—Hesiod, ancient Greek poet
I recently reviewed Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. During the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I wanted to feel that doing what appeared to be little or even nothing might prove beneficial beyond saving myself or others from exposure to the virus.
Ryan recommends little steps of stillness related to the domains of body, mind, and spirit. His examples include the story of Winston Churchill taking up bricklaying during a very demanding time of intense work and stress. The slow process of mixing mortar and stacking bricks was just the thing he needed to keep his body busy while allowing his mind to unwind.
Where might the process of introducing small mind, body, or spiritual activities/rituals to your day result in much more than you might expect?
Feel free to reply to this post with the practices that work best for you.