Mindfulness and Breathwork are the tools I use for my inner wellbeing and how I choose to live each day. Often, they are used interchangeably and/or combined. For me, mindfulness is practice that I use to live life in a conscious, connected way, and breathwork is my go-to tool that I use in being connected to my physical body and my soul. To help guide you, here is how I view them.
The Short Explanation
- A way to pay attention to whatever is going on right now.
- A practice that trains you to wake up to your life, to see it as it really is and appreciate it.
- A way to help you relax and be more open, alert, focused, and clear headed.
- A way to make choices and decisions from a place of calm and clarity, rather than reactivity, fear, or impulse.
Mindfulness is NOT…
- Something you can master overnight.
- One size fits all, your journey and experience will differ from everyone else.
- A practice of conscious, connected breathing.
- A way to alter the breathing pattern for a prolonged period of time with the goal of shifting your state of awareness.
- A way to calm your mind and nervous system.
Breathwork is NOT…
- A practice that requires using mind altering psychedelics to achieve results.
- A quick fix or something you master overnight.
The Longer Explanations
What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness and Breathwork?
Mindfulness and breathwork have well documented positive effects on your mind, your body, and your soul.
On The Mind: They help alleviate stress, manage depression and anxiety, deepen the ability to focus thoughts, gain new perspectives, improve your cognitive ability to analyze situations/thought/experiences, and develop more conscious ways of thinking and being.
On The Body: They help manage chronic pain, become more aware of what’s happening in your body, deepen your breathing and mind-body connection, and develop the ability to ease tension through breathwork.
On The Spirit: They help you develop deeper connections to yourself, learn to see the bigger picture of life and your role you play in it, gain the ability to manage your ego, develop compassion, and connection to the world and people around you.
What is Mindfulness?
There are different definitions of mindfulness. Clinically, it’s defined as your own self-regulation of attention with an attitude toward openness.
Jon Kabat-Zin defines mindfulness as “paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
- Paying Attention: Means paying attention to certain things you are surrounded with at or in the present place and time.
- On Purpose: Means you intentionally decide to pay attention to something specific.
- In the Present Moment: Means you focus on the here and now and get rid of any thoughts from the past or future.
- Being Non-Judgmental: Means you are not going to compare, judge or be critical of yourself or what arises while paying attention.
As you make your way through this program and its materials, you will develop your own sense and personal understanding of what Mindfulness means to you.
Some people believe that mindfulness is completely about meditation but it’s not, and that can be a huge deterrent especially if you are someone who has a hard time sitting still for any length of time.
To me, mindfulness, or living mindfully, is about dismissing the chatter of the mind and challenging perceptions by focusing on what's happening in my life right now. And using that focus, to navigate through them.
What Is Breathwork?
Like mindfulness, breathwork also has different meanings and uses. For this program, I use several different methods of breathwork to help you become aware of your state of consciousness. When you are aware of your breath, you are present. Breathwork often appears simple and yet, it’s not easy to maintain.
It's why mindful living practices and breathwork are at the heart of the programs I offer.
I Don’t Know If I’m Ready For This
For those of you considering working with me, or using my tools, now that you’ve read this, you may not feel ready to explore this. That’s okay. We can only change if we want to change. But let me take a minute to challenge your resistance. If your mind is saying:
- I Don’t Have The Time To Do This: Guess what, as long as your are willing to start, you have time. When it come to breath or adding a bit of mindfulness to your day, you can start with as little as three minutes per day. Even with three minutes per day, you’ll start to notice a calmer, less anxious you.
- This Seems Tedious: I know, changing patterns is hard. That is why everything in my program or digital offerings are designed to start with short time periods and be digestible. In general, you’ll spend around 20 minutes a day on the activities, gradually building longer periods of self exploration and reflection. Let’s be real, you spend more time on TikTok or Instagram than that.
- I’m Going Through Some Sh*t: If you’re going through some deep emotional feeling, emotions or dealing with trauma, that’s okay. This will help you.
- This Is Just Bullshit: I get it, you may feel mindfulness and breathwork is for the “woo” crowd. This isn’t woo, this is science-based, using some of the most credible methods from the best psychologists and researchers in the world. The use of “woo” is entirely up to you. Though I love “woo.”
Last, I will say: WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?
How do you feel right NOW?
Are you stressed and/or anxious? Are you clenching your jaw? Do you have pain somewhere in your body?
Do you want to feel less stressed? To feel calmer and less anxious? To be less reactive? To be less angry? To sleep better?
Ask yourself, “What do I want to feel less of?”
For example, “I wanted to feel less stressed.”
Now turn that into an intention:
“I’m doing this to be less stressed.”
Now are you ready to give this a shot?
My programs, website content, and tools are designed to help you use mindfulness and breathwork to improve your mental and spiritual health, and keep you grounded in the present. With regular practice, you won’t find yourself letting your thoughts wander and you won’t get distracted by or caught up in the past or future.
Mindful living and its practices can really help us clarify your reason for wanting to try this in the first place. And if you are still a skeptic, just check out what smart doctors at Harvard Health have to say about mindfulness.
Remember, this isn’t about a practice of perfection.
I invite you to do your own exploration of them, and adopt them in a way that feels right for your life. This is about starting where you are right now, no matter how dirty that may be. Whatever it is— I’m positive what we’re doing here will help.
Now let’s get ready to #PracticeDirty