Last week we began our focus on Choosing Happiness. We summarized some of the things that people who are the happiest do regularly in their lives. The rest of this month, we’re going to focus on the core practices that can add to or deepen your own sense of happiness, starting with Mindfulness.

There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness in the media, and the research about its benefits is inspiring. Research shows that becoming more mindful throughout your life can help you manage stress, focus more fully on what matters to you, deepen your connection to others, work more effectively with pain, decrease burnout, and yes, feel greater joy and happiness!

While there are many great books, programs and teachers of mindfulness, one of our “go to” people for resources on mindfulness is Elisha Goldstein—a highly respected leader in the field.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles. He does a lot of work with adults, children, and with mindfulness in the workplace. The Center website provides a ton of resources and support. He’s an impressive guy.
Elisha defined mindfulness on his website as:

Mindfulness is the ability to cultivate awareness of the present moment while putting aside our programmed biases.
It’s being in connection with the direct experience of the present moment, the here and now. 

Most of us are easily distracted by all that’s coming at us throughout the day. There are a ton of messages about how we should look, act, and succeed. In short, our attention is grabbed by so many things, internal and external, that it’s hard to intentionally lead our lives.

Mindfulness is not a technique. It is, like leadership, a way of being in the world. It’s pausing to bring yourself back into the moment and to become present to yourself, your moments, your experiences, and your connection with purpose, people, and possibility.

Our Leader in You framework is built on mindfulness–only we call it the PAUSE. Leadership starts with pausing and asking, “Is what I am about to say or do in alignment with my goals?”

Pausing supports people in becoming conscious and choosing how to respond to move forward, rather than simply reacting automatically. Mindfulness is, in many ways, a practice of regularly pausing—not only to check in on what you’re about to do, but to check in on where you are at that moment.

But today, try this:

  • Every hour or two, throughout the day, PAUSE.Pausing is an act of consciousness where you take a moment to sit back from your desk, take a sip of water, walk outside for a moment.
  • Pause, take 5 slow breaths, and ask yourself: “What am I doing right now—where am I sitting, how does my body feel, who am I near, what are my thoughts … and … is what I am doing in alignment with what’s truly important to me?”
    • Notice yourself. Notice your life. Notice what you appreciate about your moments.And notice if you are making the choices that move you toward your goals, those things that are truly important to you.

    Let us know what you discover… You are worth the discovery!

    Sending you hugs!

    Your allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting