Most of us human beings are creatures of habit. We live our lives on autopilot. Autopilot happens when we repeat behaviors day in and day out. Our brains hardwire these behaviors so we can do them again and again without thinking. When we’re on autopilot, we disconnect from the present moment and reality. We exist either in the past or some place in the future.
When we’re on autopilot, we repeat the same habits, patterns, and routines without any awareness of whether some or all no longer serve our highest good. When we’re on autopilot, we can get caught up in our thoughts and emotions where our brain reacts automatically without thinking. As a result, we may overreact and say or do something that we later regret.
Autopilot takes us away from our lives and work. Mindfulness brings us back to our lives and work. Practicing mindfulness interrupts autopilot.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is your birthright. You are born with the ability to be aware of what’s happening inside and outside of ourselves in the present moment.
Mindfulness becomes a practice when you choose to pay attention to what’s happening inside and outside of yourself with the “Big 5” mindful self-care vitamins: loving kindness, compassion, nonjudgment, patience, and forgiveness.
Mindfulness helps you:
- Act with awareness.
- Change the hardwiring of your brain.
- Create new healthy habits.
- Make better choices.
As you practice mindfulness, remember the following:
- You will lose your focus. You’re human. It’s normal and natural to lose your focus.
- When you lose your focus, smile when you become aware of the loss of focus, and use your breath as an anchor to return to the present moment. You smile because you are giving yourself an opportunity to practice your birthright. You breathe deeply because breathing gives you an opportunity to reset and return to the present moment.
- Release the need to criticize, judge or shame yourself when you loose your focus even if you lose it 10 times in 10 seconds. Use the Big 5 mindful self-care vitamins of loving kindness, compassion, nonjudgment, patience, and forgiveness to ground yourself as you remember mindfulness is a practice and a process.
Meditation: A Mindfulness Practice That Can Help You to Stop Living on Autopilot
Meditation is a mindfulness practice that invites you to befriend your mind by choosing to focus your awareness on what’s happening inside and outside of yourself. It’s the act of observing thoughts in the mind, physical sensations, and sounds.
In meditation, you can use your breath to help focus your attention and cultivate stillness by observing it and coming back to it when your mind focuses on thoughts, physical sensations, and sounds.
Meditation can help you increase self-awareness, relax, improve concentration, reduce stress, strengthen emotional and physical well-being, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Check out the Thriving Mindfully Podcast episodes on meditation below.
- Episode: Meditation 101 (guided meditation included)
- Episode: Mindfulness of the Body Meditation
- Episode: Mindfulness of the Breath Meditation
Below are several suggestions you can use in your meditation practice.
- Breathing: In and out through the nose OR in through the nose and out through the mouth
- Posture: Seated, standing, or laying down
- Eyes: Closed or opened with a slightly lowered gaze
- Focus: Observe the sensations in the body. Notice the thoughts in the mind. Pay attention to the breath. Observe the sounds around you. You can also use a mantra (word or phrase), music, and movement to help you focus your attention in meditation.
If you or your organization, company, and community need more self-care, mindfulness, and wellness resources, visit the Thriving Mindfully Academy here.
If you are new to mindfulness, self-care, and wellness or simply want to learn more about these areas, visit the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s resource pages below.
Training, Speaking & Coaching
I help people just like you and mission-driven companies, organizations, and communities outsmart stress and burnout, reclaim and practice their birthrights of mindfulness and self-care, and create wellness in their life, career, business, and community service. My personal goal is to empower as many people as I can in my local and global communities with the education, training, and practices they can use to create their own health insurance plan with mindfulness, self-care, and wellness.
My services are offered virtually (via Zoom, Facebook Live, Google Meet, Skype, and FreeConferenceCall.com) and in-person. I offer trainings and one-on-one coaching sessions. I am available to speak at your next conference and event, and for digital, print, radio, and television interviews.
Interested in exploring how you might work with me this year?
For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Ananda Leeke. I am an award-winning wellness professional, author, and artist. I discovered mindfulness, self-care, and wellness when my career as a lawyer, an investment banker, and a digital communications professional stressed me out, caused burnout, and did not produce the level of success I expected. During my healing journey, I studied and practiced meditation, yoga, reiki, journaling, art-making, and creative writing. They helped me develop self-care practices and become resilient. As a result, I became a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher, a reiki master practitioner, a sound healer, and an artist-in-residence for the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Today, I share my gifts and expertise as the founder and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Ananda Leeke Consulting, a wellness company, and the Thriving Mindfully Academy, an online learning platform. Visit AnandaLeeke.com for more information. Follow @anandaleeke on social media.
About My Mindfulness Books
- Love’s Troubadours, a yoga-inspired novel
- That Which Awakens Me, a mindful creativity memoir
- Digital Sisterhood, a mindful technology memoir