My definition of Mindfulness
This past week I've been immersed in corporate mindfulness training with Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. My mind is buzzing with the energy of learning new ideas, nerding out on neuroscience and reconnecting with the belief that started my company in the first place - that mindfulness matters.
So let's talk mindfulness - what does it really mean? To me, mindfulness is the space between your thoughts and emotions where you have the ability to respond instead of reacting to challenging situations. It's the space to process what is going on so you can respond in a conscious way that is aligned with your emotions and feelings.
Do you have to be on a yoga mat to experience this incredible way of being? Absolutely not. Mindfulness is something that you can take with you from the boardroom, to your dinner table, with coworkers, or out with friends and loved ones. Practicing mindfulness is about acknowledging that you have the power to choose your thoughts and that you can make conscious choices with each thought and decision you have throughout the day.
Take a moment to breathe.
Using the power of our breath is one of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness at any point in our day. Focus on your breath, your inhale and exhale. Consciously breathe in for 4 counts and out for 4 counts. Repeat 10 times or as long as feels right for you.
Move your body.
Whether this looks like a walk around your neighbourhood, a dip in the ocean, playing a sport or hitting that yoga class, moving your body is a great way to stay mindful. Movement is like meditation, it gets you out of your head, back into your physical body and your heart.
Notice your thoughts.
Whether they are positive or negative, simply notice the thoughts that you are choosing in any given moment. Awareness is the first step to making a change to our habitual thought patterns. The best part is, we have the power to choose our thoughts so the lift us up, not tear us down.
Adopt this mindset.
Everything is happening FOR YOU not TO YOU.
Everything, the good and the bad, are lessons, opportunities and always happening for us. Adopting this mindset allows us to embrace what comes our way, let go of that feeling of being the victim and look for the good in any situation.
Self Investment 101
Investing in yourself is the BEST thing you can do for yourself.
Think for a moment about the principle behind financial investments. The main purpose is to experience a future financial gain.
This same principle can apply to you and your skillset. By investing time, money and energy into yourself, you are setting yourself up for future success.
Self investments can be small or big, but like everything, you get out what you put in.
Developing a habit of daily contributions to yourself will amount to something bigger in the future.
I say this as I embark on a week long leadership training course call Search Inside Yourself Leadership in Berkely, CA. This course was formed out of Google and is designed to teach corporations how to lead compassionately, improve culture, and optimize performance. It is rooted in mindfulness, neuroscience, and emotional intelligence - all things that get me so excited.
I heard about this course a couple of years ago and immediately knew I wanted to do it. I knew that it was going to further my life's mission, to leave the world a better place than how I found it and best equip me with tools to share this message in the corporate space.
The initial timing wasn't right, but I kept it on my radar. It sounded so perfect for me, but was also time consuming and expensive. I definitely had the story running through my head of 'who am I to spend this much money on myself?' But I realized that investing in myself is the best thing that I could ever do and the smartest way I could spend my money.
So yes, I deserve it, and yes I am good enough! And YOU are too.
How to invest in yourself
Whether this is with your favourite smoothie, coffee, massage or indulging in a sweet treat, little things like these are easy ways to show yourself some love and invest in you throughout your day.
This can be practiced by diving into something new or further developing a passion or skill you want to master. Spend time taking stock of your interests. Is there a course or a workshop you can invest in that will help support your growth? Is there an area of your career to expand upon for you to enhance your passions?
Nourish your body.
Ever notice how much better you feel on all levels when you make time to prioritize eating healthy foods and moving your body each day? Investing in your physical body is just as important as investing in your mental and spiritual wellbeing. So head to that workout class, head outside for some fresh air, choose the healthier meal option and spend time investing in your health, because health = wealth.
Attend a retreat.
Retreats are incredible opportunities to press the reset button, connect inward, and reignite that flame of passion inside you. Whether this is a full day offering close to home or a week long immersion in a new place - spending time in the transformational environment retreats cultivate, is an amazing investment in your evolving self-development. Check out my next retreat coming on in La on March 24th.
Investing in you can be as small or as big as you want, but the most important part is engaging in that investment activity with the mindset that it is fuelled by LOVE and to believe that you are WORTHY of receiving the benefits of that investment.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.