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.

When you next find yourself among humans…..

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“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

Comparing situation A with situation B is big part of how we make it through the day. Overuse of this often-unconscious process, however, can feed anxiety and feelings of being “less than” or “better than” that lead to separation, isolation, and in worst cases, to violence.

Out of fear, we think by sizing up, categorizing, and otherwise pigeonholing people, places and things we keep ourselves safe from harm.

Taking a nonjudgmental stance, both toward others, and ourselves is one of the cornerstones of mindfulness.  This ability to step back and detach (applying equanimity) is a skill that will decrease anxiety, stress and discontent and increase feelings of connection to the human race.

But taking a nonjudgmental stance is easier said than done, as we humans are so good at judging.  We think by sizing up, categorizing, and otherwise pigeonholing people, places and things we keep ourselves safe from harm.

While using “good judgment” can certainly keep us safe from harm, excessive use of judgment that deems us better than or less than creates an artificial wall.

Try this mindfulness practice when you next find yourself among humans:

  1. Start by taking a few deep breaths, which will help you calm your nervous system and take a neutral stance.
  1.  As you walk down the road or the grocery aisle, note the thoughts that pop into your head.  You might mentally register someone as “short,” “tall,” “bald,” “smarter than me,” “better dressed than me,” or “poorer than me.”
  1.  Resist this urge to go on auto-pilot by thoughtlessly labeling your subject.  Instead of using one or two descriptive words, try using the phrase “Just like me” as you make your observations.  Here are a few examples:

“just like me, this person looks tired.”

“Just like me, this person worries.”

“Just like me, this person can feel joy.”

“Just like me, this person wants to be loved.”

See if this mindfulness experiment helps you to feel less critical and more connected a condition we all share – being human.  Connect with mindful hub.  Let us know how this exercise works for you.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

 

 

 

Five Steps to Letting Go

Practicing letting go is one of the foundations of mindfulness.  What does it mean to let go?  It could mean letting go of a disappointment from the past, a relationship that’s not working out, or it could mean letting go of a plan to change someone or something. Letting go can also be less tangible. It might mean letting go of a way of thinking that creates a negative state of mind, or it could be letting go of trying to control a subtle behavior.

Here’s an easy five-step meditation you can use with yourself or your clients to practice letting go.

It’s helpful to remember that letting go is rarely a one-shot deal.  You may have a sense of acceptance around a situation one day, only to have an uncomfortable sense of clinging return the next day.  Your mindfulness practice can help with this process.

  1. Relax, and take a few mindful breaths.
  2. Feel the tension start to melt away from your muscles, bones, skin.  Feel your facial features relax.
  3. Remain in this relaxed body state for a few more breaths.
  4. Now, as thoughts arise, bring the same sort of tension-free awareness to your thoughts.
  5. Let go of the urge to control the thoughts. Allow yourself to flow with all the changes that come up as you sit.  Feeling spacey, blissful, or irritable? Go with it. Give it space to disperse.   Detach from your experience, as if you were watching a movie on a screen with pleasant curiosity. You wouldn’t jump into the screen, would you? This is what letting go mind feels like.

It’s helpful to remember that letting go is rarely a one-shot deal.  You may have a sense of acceptance around a situation one day, only to have an uncomfortable sense of clinging return the next day. This is why it’s helpful to practice mindfulness on a regular basis in a way that fits into your schedule and is helpful to you.

Practice letting go with little, everyday irritations, and with bigger issues.  With regular practice, letting go will come to you with more ease.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!