This year has certainly been a challenging one in so many ways around the world. I’ve struggled like many people navigating through unchartered territories along with the typical challenges we face. As I was typing this blog I was listening to Chris Martin of Coldplay play a session for his fans from his home during COVID-19. He closed with a thank you and started it with a play off the movie Notting Hill by saying, “I’m just a guy standing in front of a camera asking you to love him…Thank you for everything and I hope you are ok. If you have gone cuckoo, join the $ucking club…” That about says it all…we are in difficult times and looking for some love, humanity, peace and joy (I’m sure there are others…)… I’ve always liked the genuineness of Chris. He has a huge heart and for a lead singer of one of the world’s most popular bands, he is pretty darn humble and thankful.
With that said, I am very happy with the exploration I am on to live the most purposeful and joyful life I can. Here I will share a bit of the mindfulness exploration I have been on, where I’m headed and some things you may be able to benefit from now and along the way. There is so much to learn and experience…I can’t wait!
Similar to my history of eating unhealthy most of my life, I didn’t have an intentional practice to keep my head healthy either. A few years ago my great friend, Dan Radde, introduced me to the book, 10% Happier, and a meditation app, Headspace, that turned this fidgety skeptic into a hungry learner. We’ve had great discussions about our practice.
I will say my practice with meditation from then to now has been incredibly inconsistent but when I practice I feel different in a really good way. I have done another reboot in this area and it’s resulted in 60 straight days of mediation. Now I do love a good streak for my own motivation but it’s the benefit I’m receiving by practicing meditation and various mindfulness techniques that is driving my daily practice.
After I started with Headspace guided meditation I tried the 10% Happier guided meditation and within the last year I went back to Headspace to change things up. Also within the last year I’ve discussed this space a lot with another great friend, Elia Luti. Elia started on his mindfulness journey about seven years ago back in Italy. Elia puts great effort into self-development and has an incredible discipline about it…one of the reasons I love hanging out with him.
He started out by his martial arts instructor asking him to focus on his breathing and releasing his mind. He then dove into learning more by reading books and broadened his practice including visualization exercises. He shared how it wasn’t easy but continued on and practices daily meditation and mindfulness techniques “to start the day with the right mindset.” He has a list of questions and affirmations he goes through every day…and I mean every day. He has a phrase I love, “we are the creators of our realities.” You can see how this plays out in his actions. I’ve learned a lot from Elia who has educated me with countless resources and personal experiences. He is also my meditation accountability partner. He sends me a daily quote supporting these concepts. I can’t thank him enough!
Earlier this year I had the fortune of meeting another amazing person, Cheryl Pipia, with a huge heart, experience as a practitioner and leader of mindfulness techniques. She is also the founder of Mission Movement, “an organization dedicated to inspiring thoughtful living, purposeful leadership and long-lasting community impact. Through workshops, trainings, and so much more, we help our clients develop compassionate, heart-led approaches to giving back and creating enduring social change.” If you want to see a role model for giving back to the community, Cheryl is one you should check out. The impact she has made in communities around the world is so impressive. You can see several examples of this and more via her webpage linked above.
Cheryl and I connected about leadership development early this year as we work together. Through the discussion her approaches surfaced and it opened up a thoughtful conversation about connecting with ourselves and others. We exchanged views on how we can be effective leaders by enhancing people’s lives, professions and communities. One of the ways for us to be effective is to be mindful and bring our best to others.
Relating back to my eating journey again…when I opened up to learning about my health, I couldn’t consume enough learning. As I began feeling the positive effects to my body, I craved to learn more. I’m finding similar feelings here. As I recognize the benefits of practicing mindfulness techniques I desire more knowledge and want to explore things I don’t know much about.
Cheryl and I are now working on a project exploring and implementing different meditation and mindfulness techniques. Many will be new for me to experience and some will also be to simply understand what they are as I have no idea. That is the fun part…explore and see what works for me…
Some of the practices she has experienced and we will be working with include (Cheryl’s descriptions):
- segment intending meditation – meditation to break out the day into segments and set intentions for each
- creative visualization meditation – stay focused on long-term vision and goal
- transcendental meditation – silent mantra meditation used to focus concentration
- walking meditation – great for quick breaks and enables one to become more aware of surroundings
- guided meditation – guided exercise by a trained practitioner (I threw this one in there as it has been what I have used for the last couple years via Headspace & 10% Happier
- sound baths – introduces how vibration impacts your brain waves
- breath work – experiencing various rhythms
- tapping method – you tap on key points and repeat what you are letting go or want to affirm
- moon rituals – full moon release and new moon rebirths
- music meditation– doing my first practice this Thursday…can’t wait! I’ll let you know how it goes and what it’s about…stay tuned…
I will share my journey through future blogs and social media posts. I can’t wait to see how this enriches my life further. I will also add to my page devoted to the Mind with resources I find helpful. Check it out now if you desire as I have several resources I have used to this point.
Please share your experiences with me as we help each other live our lives to the fullest.
– Add Health to Your Life
Featured Blog Photo Above:
- Top Left – Dan Radde and I at the Gasparilla Distance Classic earlier this year
- Top Right – Elia Luti and I in the Giraffe’s Den…Elia giving me some advice
- Bottom Left – Cheryl Pipia and her organization, Mission and Movement sponsor a primary school and teachers of Shine Kibera, Kenya. The largest slum in Africa…
- Bottom Right – Cheryl took a picture of this beautiful giraffe on a walk in Northern Kenya last year (full photo below…wow!)