Every New Year people from all around the world are making New Years resolutions to change or improve some aspect of their life. The fitness and yoga studios are packed, people are amped up and are really doing the work. Fast forward 3-4 weeks or 2-3 months if we are lucky, and most if not all of those resolutions have faded behind a veil of busyness and distraction. One of the biggest problems we face is that we have become reactionary beings, creating new habits using technology and being accustomed to working on our email inbox’s trying to stay afloat by responding and reacting to the latest distraction, email, text, instagram, tweet and so on.
Let’s face it… overstressed & over tired is all too common in our collective lives in work, life and family.
We are more connected through technology but somehow not connected to ourselves.
Eventually, we all lose focus of our most wished upon goals, our new years resolutions and dreams as we fall into our newly formed habits around our use of technology.
When it comes to designing and living the life of your dreams, every decision, every day, matters and they only way to move forward is through mindfulness.
Mindfulness is essential to when it comes to creating what matters most to us.
Our dwindling focus...
Digital technology is forever changing the way we communicate, connect and develop relationships. The problem is that we have become so accustomed to instant gratification of our curiosity and our mental whims that we have undermined our own ability to focus. The average human attention span is now less than 9 seconds, worse than that of a gold fish; we are literally giving ourselves ADD through our new relationship with technology.
As a long time yogi, coach and entrepreneur, I have spent much of my career promoting strong mindful practices in the workplace, home and creative life. I’m fascinated with people who are able to take ideas and complete them and bottom line to complete anything these days you need f o c u s.
5 steps to living more fully and creating more freely
- Take Responsibility. The first thing I always tell my friends and clients is to take responsibility and stop blaming your “overflowing” inbox or phone or environment. The second you take responsibility you are now accountable for your results moving forward. Now you have the opportunity to design and live things the way you want to in a proactive manner.
- Mindful Mornings. How you begin your day is usually how the rest of your day will go. If you wake up a little late and in a frenzy, you likely won’t show up for the rest of the day in a mindful way as you will be rushing around just to stay afloat. Secondly, if the first thing you do in the morning is checking your inbox or instagram in bed you might want to think again about that. What happens when we check our emails is that we are putting ourselves into a "reactive mode” resulting in us submitting to the requests of everyone else and world while distracting yourself from your own goals and resolutions.
The first few moments of your day set your energetic frequency, if you put yourself in a reactive mode, more than likely you will be putting out fires all day for other people. However if you take the first 30 minutes of your day as your most important moments of the day to connect with yourself through a mindful meditation or breathing practice you will find yourself in a proactive state more often giving you more energy and more focus to complete what is most important for you.
- Do your most Creative work first.
One of the most powerful things you can commit to is to work on your own priorities with phone and email off. Personally, I try never to schedule meetings during this special time of day for me as it dips into my most powerful times to be creative and express myself. This will be challenging at first as the email notifications, phone ringing and life calling will get in the way. However once you get that taste of completing ideas that you have had for week’s maybe even years you will slowly get hooked on your mindful morning. We all have bills to pay and things we need to do for life however these more reactive things can happen later in the afternoon when your energy is spent and you don’t have to think. I do most of my errands between 3:30-4:30pm for example; I beat the traffic and take 1-2 things off my to-do list.
- Embrace Serendipity
What’s the first thing you do after a meeting, yoga class? What do you do when you are in line at the store or sitting at a red light in your car? You are probably like most people; you check your phone for the latest message or announcement.
These in between moments used to be amazing times to pause and reflect, but instead we use them to tune into the world instead of ourselves!
Try on the daily practice of mindfulness, looking deeper into the moment and tune yourself to the grandeur of this moment. Your brain gets a break and you get access to a new level of imagination, wonder, awe of the world around you. Like when we were kids, remember? Added bonus, you might spark a conversation with that person sitting in line in front of you who has an idea or connection that could help you in some way. Who knows, they might inspire you to do something spontaneous and out of your norm. This is the goal. Change is constantly changing and we need to tap into the moment to harvest the wonderful life that is already right in front of us.
- Prioritize Mindfulness
One of our biggest challenges today is to be able to focus and minimize the stress in our everyday lives while taking on what matters most to us. Be aware of the cost of your constant connection, take note how many times you check your phone, Facebook, instagram, twitter, email a day and then estimate how much time that is over the next year. You will be astonished how much time you are actually giving away to distraction over mindfulness. One trick I use daily is to design into my day windows of non-connectedness and stimulation. I use these mindful time blocks to think about and plan out my major projects and musings.
Festival Producer, Business Consultant & Yogi Entrepreneur