mindfulness for everyone

Mindful hub is an online community where you can find support, encouragement, and skills for living a more centered, meaningful life. Our goal is to cultivate an ever growing, changing, and interactive “hub” that will support individuals, groups, and health professionals in the quest to find well-being and contentment through mindfulness.

Mindfulness for Everyone ~ A basic exercise and some science

If you’re new to the idea of mindfulness, this is a good place to begin exploring.  This corner of mindful hub is dedicated to giving you the most basic definitions, and simplest instructions to enable you to start your mindfulness practice right now.  We know you don’t have a lot of  time to read, and we want to encourage you to actually practice mindfulness, not just read about it.  Having said that, here is the most basic information you will need to start a mindfulness practice, right here, right now.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been described as intentionally watching the moment to moment thought activity of the mind, without judging or attaching to the thought activity.  Many scientific studies have proven that mindfulness calms the mind and body.

How do I practice mindfulness?

1.  Breathe. Focusing on the breath is the easiest way to begin because we always carry our breath with us.  Deep, even breathing has the added benefit of calming the nervous system and engaging higher order brain activity.

2.  Begin Watching your thoughts. Begin to watch your thoughts as though you were watching a movie.  When you watch a movie, you don’t typically jump into the film.  You usually stay somewhat detached from the movie.  This is how you treat your thoughts in mindfulness.

3.  Practice self-compassion.  A non-judgemental attitude is one of the keys to mindfulness.  If you find it hard to sit in the here and now without being judgmental, check out this clip of Dr. Kristen Neff explaining self-compassion.

Your thoughts will wander from topic to topic.  Practice watching them with detached interest.  There will be time after your practice to actually do something about the thoughts if necessary.  For the length of your practice, just continue to breathe deeply and evenly (here are some basic directions), and stay detached from the activity of the mind.

It’s that simple, but sometimes quite difficult!  If you begin to get frustrated with the activity of the mind, remember,  the goal is not to empty your mind, although you may experience some moments of thought-free bliss.  The goal is to come back to the breath, and detach from your thoughts over and over again.  This is how we make change in the mind and the body.  This is mindfulness.

Why is everybody talking about mindfulness?

Call it mindfulness, meditation, or self-examination, contemplative practices are a part of almost every culture and every spiritual tradition.   However, these practices have taken a back seat to the high-technology and rapid change our culture has seen over the past two centuries.  Although the benefits of our evolution are many they have also  led to an epidemic of distraction and dissatisfaction.

The Scientifically proven benefits of mindfulness meditation include a resetting of the nervous system, more attuned communication, and an increased ability to regulate emotional states.  For a summary of the latest research, go to the American Mindfulness Research Association homepage.

Great news!  You don’t have to be a monk or even devote hours of your day to gain the benefits of mindfulness!

We are losing our ability to self-regulate our own nervous systems and we are becoming more dependent on a variety of external quick fixes, causing us to lose control of our daily actions, and the trajectory of our lives.

Research conducted by Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin Neuroscience lab has shown that advanced meditators have more activity in the frontal lobe region of the brain.  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging shows that this part of the brain, associated with positive emotions is incredibly active in the Buddhist monks the researchers used as subjects.  However, even more exciting is the fact that follow-up studies conducted on individuals new to the practice of mindfulness also show more activity in the frontal lobe region compared to pre-tests conducted before a six-week course in meditation. This means that you and I, the overworked, overstimulated masses can benefit from the simplest of mindfulness practices.

Mindful hub is here to support you on your mindfulness journey with our blog community, printable worksheets, and moderated forum.  Well-being is yours, right now.

Here’s a worksheet you can’t print and carry with you to help you build your mindfulness practice.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

40 Days of Letting go: Day 40 ~Harvest Time


It’s harvest time.  Time to choose what to keep and what to cull.  By working through the 40 Days of Letting Go Detox for your Brain you made room for positive change to come into your life.

For the warrior, every moment is a challenge to be genuine, and each challenge is delightful. When you let go properly, you can relax and enjoy the challenge….   Chogyam Trungpa, 

Today’s Letting go exercise ~ Here are the top take-aways from the past 40 days:

 #1:  Time and time stress was the most popular post… what does that tell us?   No surprise here…. If you are over scheduled and overwhelmed like most people, it’s hard to let go.  Make more time in your life by looking at small and big time wasters.  Drink one less cup of coffee in the morning, spend 20 fewer minutes on Facebook.  Get off one committee.  Small changes in the are will add up.  Look at he #2 below to get hints about the biggest time-sucks in your life.

 #2:  Tied for second where the letting go posts about  fear, fixing, planning and letting go of drama.  Is it possible that if were not so concerned with controlling others, controlling outcomes, expectations we have placed on others, and what others may be expecting from us, we would feel less time stress and less fear?  If we gave up on just 20% of controlling, and cared 20% less about other’s perceptions of us, we might just feel a massive letting go.

More Letting go take-aways:

1.   Let go of the idea that you will some day be a finished product – remember the main ideas of Wabi Sabi:  nothing lasts forever, nothing is perfect, nothing is finished.

2.  Let go of anger.  Focus on the lesson, take any negative energy and turn it in to positive action.

3.  Be aware of the aspects of your being that are not an authentic expression of who you are, keep shedding these aspects.   What’s left will be your best self, let go of keeping your best self from the world.

4.  You will find it easier to share your best self if you let go of beating yourself up and learn to practice self-compassion and let go of fear of judgement.

5.  Remember that letting go is an art not a science.  What is more important in this human life – that which we keep, or that which let go?  What gives you a peace and a sense of acceptance?  The answer is different for everyone.  Letting go is your own unique mural.

Lastly, take away these quotes to help you let go….

The greater the threat, the more tightly we hold on. We try to capture something moving and to make it still, so that an experience that has come and gone seems still to exist. Viewing our life as something we can fix and possess, we become completely attached to our mental snapshot of ourselves and equally threatened by its potential loss. We have taken a tiny speck of the vastness of the universe and staked it out as our territory, and now we are stuck with protecting it from change.”…. Judy Lief in Tricycle Magazine

“…Even the smallest glimpse of freedom heightens our awareness of the pain we have created by our ego-fixation. Seeing the contrast is what inspires us to go forward on the path. In particular, each time we sit on the cushion and meditate, we relax and let go a little bit more…..For the warrior, every moment is a challenge to be genuine, and each challenge is delightful. When you let go properly, you can relax and enjoy the challenge….   Chogyam Trungpa, The Sacred Path of the Warrior  images-1

Life is only lived in this moment, which is fleeting, changing constantly.   If only we’d stop embalming life, freezing it into a view, we’d experience life as it is, and at its fullest.   The importance of right mindfulness, is that it weaves together all  the aspects of the path, and brings us back to Reality, here and now.” – Steve Hagen, Buddhism Plain and Simple

Think of letting go as a constant shedding of that which no longer serves you.  Remember that letting go is an art, not a science, and there is no time table, or right or wrong way to let go.  Sometimes letting go requires going inward and deep rest.  Sometimes it calls for action and collaboration.  It’s all about finding your authentic self, finding peace and joy with that authentic self, and giving up thoughts, words, deeds, people, places, and things that keep you from being joyful and genuine.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!