mindfulness matters

If I were to ask you “what ultimately do you want from life?”, many of you would answer “to be happy”; “to have money”; “to have success”; etc. We seek answers from life, while our culture answers with “get more stuff and gain fame then you will feel happy”. Will this suffice as your answer to your life question? Is that really what you want, or is there something else, something deeper for which you long?

During my time as a counselor I have worked with clients from every socio-economic status. Regardless of money or available material resources, everyone was seeking a common answer, namely, how to get a deep feeling of peace. As a result of their life struggles they came to realize that material goods and wealth is fleeting and can be lost. Therefore, they could no longer find satisfaction in material goods.

What makes me different from other life coaches is that I'm not promising you your dreams. I work in leading you to find inner peace, resulting in a self love expressed in action. My goal is not to make you successful, rich, or famous. I don't care if you succeed or fail in aspects…

Read more: 5 Reasons Why Mindfulness Matters

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mindfulness in adversity

In an instant life can become hectic and chaotic. Just when we think we have life all figured out, and our path forward appears to be straight; adversity happens! All the talk of mindfulness, living in the moment, and meditation seem to fall short in light of the adversity and chaotic realities of life.

Platitudes are not my message. My life has had its share of ups and downs so I will not trivialize the impact adversity plays on a person's thoughts and feelings. My message relies on my own experience of mindfulness and it's ability to lead us to finding and living with inner peace, regardless of what life may throw at us.

Mindfulness is a word I often use in my writings and in my life coaching sessions with my clients. One of the pioneers in the mindfulness movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines mindfulness as: “a means of paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

The two phrases in this definition which I focus on are “on purpose” and “nonjudgmentally”. To find and maintain inner peace we need to consciously make the choice to spend time every day focusing our attention…

Read more: 6 Tips For Practicing Mindfulness When Upset

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bird in window showing mindful, peaceful living

A few years ago, while travelling through South Carolina, I was touring an old barn when I noticed, above me in the ceiling, a large bird was frantically trying to escape the barn. The bird continued to fly into the closed window in its frantic desire to escape the barn. Attempt after attempt, nothing changed for the bird. It flew towards the closed window, smashed into the window, and once again flew into the closed window. Presumably unbeknownst to this anxious bird, the barn doors, one on each end of the barn, were wide open! Had the frantic bird simply stopped a moment to observe its surroundings, it would have noticed a very easy escape into the freedom of the outside sky. Yet, the bird was so focused on the task in front of it that it failed to see any alternate options.

I mention this story as I recalled it a couple days ago while at my house. I happened upon a butterfly, who, in similar manner to the bird I described above, was frantically flying against a screen on my porch in an attempt to escape the enclosure. Also, similarly to the story above, immediately behind the butterfly…

Read more: The Five Mindfulness Trainings For A Peace Filled Life

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Many of us in the United States turned back the hands of time early this morning.  We have ended the period of Daylight Savings Time and are now on "normal", called "standard" time.  Our ability to change time prompts a few questions for me, some mundane and some a bit more philosophical.  But, to stay grounded I will refrain, for this post, from discussing the abstract philosophical notions of time.  Rather, I would like to reflect on this day in two specific ways, namely, how do we take advantage of our "extra hour", and, how do we turn back the hands of time in our own lives.

I am certain many of us have had life experiences for which we have wished we could turn back time to change the events.  There are times that we wish we could have back to cherish again, to say something different, do something different, or to have never had happen in the first place.  But, regardless of our ability to change clocks, we do not yet have the ability to go back in time.  Hence our personal feelings of resentment, disappointment, anger, sorrow, etc.  But, all is not lost.  Even though we cannot go back in time to change the event, we still have the ability to change our current feelings about the event.  In our reflection about past events, what can we learn from them?  What steps can we take to avoid a future repeat?  Do we have the opportunity to "make peace" with those from our past?  If so, what is stopping us?  We aren't able to change the event, but we can change the present moment.  How do I take advantage of the time I now have?

So, what do I do with the extra hour I am given?  Do I use it wisely?  Here are some thoughts for what we can do with our "extra" hour:

  • Sleep.  Rest is vital for a healthy mind, soul and body.
  • Spend the hour in reflection on your past and what you plan to do with your future.  Use the time for reflective journaling.
  • Write to a friend or family member whom you have not recently contacted.
  • Pray; read scripture.
  • Do something you typically don't have time to do.  Take a walk, observe nature, read a book.
  • Spend quality time with those whom you love.

I pray your extra hour is a positive one for you along your life's journey. 

If you're ready to explore life coaching, I would be honored to help. You can read more here about my life coaching practice or call me directly at 301-850-2177. 

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Read more: Time May Change But Live in the Moment

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 “Hey, did you see that?”

“No, I missed it. What was it?”

Does this conversation sound familiar? It sure does to me. My days were so busy and hectic that I had no time to care to notice something other than the task hand. At the end of each day I wondered where the day went! I had always lived that way, until recently.

A few years ago I changed jobs to one which allowed me to have the summer off. After 20 years of working year round, having a few months off was strange, and even unsettling. After a week without I had no idea what to do with myself. I was ”forced” to slow down. It wasn't comfortable at first, but over time I started to discover that I was physically, mentally, and spiritually slowing down. As I was slowing down I found myself feeling more peaceful. As the summer progressed I no longer was anxious, I didn't rush, and I began to notice the world around me.

I wasn't yet consciously aware of this, but I was beginning to live mindfully. As I slowed myself I focused my thoughts and attention to the present moment.…

Read more: 5 Tips on How Mindfulness Will Change Your Life

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