In case your week did not go as planned and you weren’t able to “check off” all of your mindfulness boxes, I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. (Note: if you’re scratching your head wondering what I’m talking about, I’m referring to last week’s 7-day mindfulness challenge. If you missed it, click here to get caught up.)
If you’re in this boat, take a moment to forgive yourself and don’t even think about feeling guilty. Even if practicing mindfulness can sometimes feel trivial or contrived, it’s not. It’s hard work. It’s transformative work. And it’s no walk in the park.
So if you’re in one of those moments where it all feels like too much, I thought I’d offer you a simple mindfulness exercise that you can do in seven minutes. You and your brain deserve seven minutes, right?
As I explained in last week’s issue, mindfulness is gathering knowledge and building relationships in real time — with our feelings, our thoughts, our sensations, and those around us, without judging them.
And I shared that mindfulness does not mean sitting on a cushion.
Although Buddhist religious practitioners birthed the stillness-driven version of mindfulness, Dr. Jon Kabbat-Zinn recultivated the practice so that we can also understand and experience mindfulness in a number of ways.
Mindfulness is how we choose to do something, not a thing to do.
7 Minutes in Heaven
Okay, so this mindfulness (not meditation) exercise may not be quite as exhilarating as your first make-out session in high school, but I’d dare to say it may be more transformative and pleasurable. Cheeky, eh?
So find a comfortable seated position where you can be undisturbed for the next 7 minutes and click play when you’re ready.
I Didn’t Promise You a Rose Garden…
Alright, welcome back!
How do you feel? Well, let’s get something on the table straight away.
While I hope you found this enjoyable, I am not suggesting that doing this quick mindfulness exercise will instantly dismantle the years and years of twisted brain wiring and chatter you’ve grown accustomed to.
That takes time.
Your inclination will be to get frustrated that you are not seeing instant results. You will be tempted to give up. You will find it easier not to show up.
It’s no different than planting a garden and fantasizing that your roses will pop up within a week. It takes time, nurturing, watering, love, and patience.
But it’s when you’ve given hope of every seeing any results that the consistency of your practice will reap the most beautiful blooms.
Just like our garden, our practice demands consistent nurturing, even after the first blooms arrive. But everything starts with that first action — planting that first seed. And that’s what you just did.
So great job! Keep nourishing your garden. You’ve got this. I believe in you.