Be mindful

Take the time to see things from the inside out

2020 has definitely made its mark. It is easy to throw blame. However, a business coach taught me to reframe my situation as it is happening for me and not to me. These conversations created more self-awareness and perspective, leading me to various books, podcasts and practices.

In true transparency, my feelings about some of these new practices, such as mindfulness, were filled with hesitation and doubt. I was not convinced that making time for silence or a guided meditation would create more impact.

I initially tried the app Headspace with little success, as I could not quiet or sidestep my thoughts long enough to benefit from the offering. However, with notable leaders such LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Ford Motor Co. chairman Bill Ford and Salesforce Founder, Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff, I was determined to make the time to incorporate these tools into my day.

For me, learning how to meditate and be mindful took practice and patience. With little self-guided progress, I registered for an eight-week mindfulness class with a local instructor, Suzanne Cushwa Rusnak, in 2016. With notebook in hand, I was initially not an ideal student, but with a great teacher and format, I eventually gained traction. I have even successfully revisited Headspace’s Meditation for Work that guides busy professionals.

Here’s what I have learned.

  • Let it go. Many of us grind too long on the past or worry about the future.
  • Get present. Our mind often hijacks our current moments if we let it.
  • Make the time. It takes meaningful action to understand and manage your thoughts.

Our reality is a mirror image of what is happening within us. If you want to enhance your experiences, you must start from the inside and work your way out. Your internal baseline will directly impact how you participate, assess, lead and contribute at work and at home.

Insights into these actions start with your thoughts. To gain awareness of your thoughts, you must be able to assess your current internal talk track, which for many, takes mindfulness and mediation.
Local mindfulness programs include the following.

  • River’s Edge fosters the integration of personal wellness, spirituality, global and ecological responsibility, and the expansion of consciousness in order to bring about personal and societal transformation.
  • The Cleveland Mindfulness Center provides trainings, workshops and retreats to hundreds of people interested in learning mindfulness meditation practices in the Cleveland area.
  • UH Connor Integrative Health Network offers mindfulness classes that are open to the public, as well as hospital employees. It also provides individual coaching, as well as programming tailored to meet the needs of organizations, businesses and schools.

For many of us, this year is a time to reflect on how we respond to the circumstances happening around us. Being mindful of what is calling us, what we will learn and what we want to make room for next will take a new level of self-awareness. Your personal and professional development and that timeline are up to you.

JJ DiGeronimo is president of Tech Savvy Women