Mindfulness allows us to be attentive and aware of the present moment. If you are familiar with synchronicity, your experience may be that synchronicity happens when you are paying attention.
Energy follows attention. If your thoughts are mired in anxiety or worry, seeing the possibilities that are right in front of you are nearly impossible to see because the mindfulness is caught up in the worry and anxiety.
When we are at our best, we are able to take care of ourselves and others who are present with us. We are mindful of the present moment. That means a meeting that is creating angst or a play date that is scheduled too closely to piano lessons later is something to carve out space for when it is appropriate. Worrying about future events creates stress when getting ourselves or our kids ready for school in the morning.
The first step is noticing it.
Noticing breath, noticing thoughts, noticing self-assessments and inner dialogue.
Below are some things to notice and some things to practice.
Do words tend to slip into each other? If “mumbling” is an assessment you receive, it may be a lack of clarity or confidence showing up. If there is a current story around how you show up now vs how you want to show up, there is an opportunity to build presence in a new way. This is based on practices to become mindful of both thoughts, interactions and outcomes. When mindful, speaking from the stomach area and using more of the diaphragm, rather than speaking from our head and pushing the words out from the upper chest connects us to our intuition and our body. This gives our active brains a rest.
Some things to notice and play with:
Pay attention to where you are speaking from when in certain conversations with specific people.
Are there times when you are more in your head, pushing from your chest when the conversation gets uncomfortable? Notice your breath, are you breathing or holding your breath up high in your chest. Reset, take a deep belly breath to reorient if you need to. You are just noticing.
Do you tend to speak from your diaphragm (your "gut"/intuition) when you are clear on your care, your condition of satisfaction (outcome) and the for sake of why or what you are speaking for? This may depend on who you are speaking with. How does the audience shift your connection to your body?
If experiencing tension headaches or jaw pain, deep breaths and connection to diaphragm breathing may ease the tension. Oftentimes, we are so accustomed to being in our head, thinking, over-analyzing, worrying, that we lose connection to our bodies. When you notice this, the shift from anxiety or worry to curiosity will shift the tension into wonder. Sometimes slight shifts in thinking create big shifts in body.
When you notice anxiety, fear, worry, here are some questions you can ask:
What is this fear and anxiety? Is it grounded in reality?
How can I use the thoughts of anxiety, fear or worry that are showing up to inform me. What is it that I can work on specifically today?
What action can I take to make this generative, rather than 'hope' it all works out?
Are there requests I can make?
Are there promises I need to renegotiate?
If someone throws a surprise at me that gets in the way of my promises or my team's promise, do I need to say 'no'?
Do I need help getting where I need to be or will I choose to stay stuck in recurring patterns?
Just noticing is a form of mindfulness. There is no judgment, just the awareness that something is showing up. How can you use this new practice to inform you?
Andrea Bordenca is a mother of 3 boys, the CEO of a DESCO Medical Service, the founder of Lead Yourself Youth and a Leadership Coach. All leadership is a form of service, yet many leaders fall into sacrifice. What are you doing that is in service of yourself and those you care about? If you are struggling, Andrea would love to help you get back on a purposeful path: firstname.lastname@example.org