We've curated a list of some of our best lessons, tips and tools from our 2017 blogs.
From self-care, emotional intelligence and self-awareness, to work-life happiness, we hope you enjoy this simple summary of our best content this year!
Be sure to check out the blog that inspired lesson #4. It's one of our most popular posts of 2017, with over 500 likes and shares on Facebook!
Here's eleven favourite mindful lessons from this year:
#1 Difficult roads can lead to wonderful destinations.
While it would be nice to have a life without hassles and difficulty that’s not reality for most of us. When we gently and consistently turn towards uncomfortable things with a child like curiosity, we change our relationship to them. In time, negative experiences can become a foundation for growth and peace. Read post.
#2 If the only thing you do today is breathe, it's all good.
In our MBSR program we like to say as long as you’re breathing, there’s more right than wrong with you. It’s easy to feel guilty and judge ourselves for the things we don’t do well. It takes practice to consistently celebrate the things that are going well, like the gift of healthy body, a warm shower, the ability to dress ourselves and care for ourselves and others. Read post.
#3 The mindful way to better sleep.
It can be helpful to acknowledge and accept that sleep may not come at times, and this is OK. Our body and mind still benefit from resting. When we notice our busy minds, we can say to ourselves, it's ok, whatever it is, is ok, let me see this clearly as a story in my mind. The more we get out of our own way, and are OK with how things are, the more our body and mind may settle and relax and after that, may come sleep. Read post.
#4 You don’t have to clear your mind to find calm.
We all do battle with ourselves from time to time and experience challenging, tiring, racing thoughts. Every one of us. No one has a perfectly peaceful, calm, serene mind 100% of the time. The key to mindfulness is having awareness of the voice in your head and then building your concentration power, which aids your ability to choose more intentionally what you pay attention to, as opposed to having your attention pulled in a thousand different directions. Read post.
#5 When we let go of striving we can achieve more.
There’s many paradoxes when it comes to mindfulness. For starters, when we carve out time in our day to meditate, we may experience a sense of spaciousness in our day, which can help us get more done on our to-do list. Another paradox? Mindfulness is an invitation to let go of striving and lean into our moment-to-moment experiences. Over time our busy minds begin to settle, enabling us to see more clearly. So ultimately we’re more likely to achieve our goals. Read post.
#6 Mindfulness isn’t just about time on the cushion.
Mindfulness is about how we live each moment. One of the things which often surprises people about mindfulness is how simple it is to bring it into your day. For those who don't feel like sitting and doing a formal meditation all the time, there’s many options and possibilities. One of my personal favourites is brushing your teeth, when we pay attention to the sounds, smells, tastes and textures of brushing our teeth, we benefit from informal meditation. Read post.
#7 The remarkable power of mindful leadership.
Not only does training in mindfulness help increase happiness and reduce stress, but it also promotes clear and creative thinking. One of the reasons Steve Jobs was a meditator was because of the profound impact it had on his intuition, creativity and innovation. We cultivate what’s called a beginner’s mind, which increases our skill in seeing things with a fresh pair of eyes and innovative thinking. Read post.
#8 Stress is caused by being ‘here’ & wanting to be ‘there’.
The constant 'wanting to be somewhere else in our life', other than where we are right now, is one of the greatest causes of unhappiness. It's getting wrapped up by wanting things to be different and attaching our emotions to these things. There’s simple things we can do to achieve the things we want to do without sacrificing enjoyment of the present moment. Read post.
#9 When we get out of our own way, the way is revealed.
Attempting to let go of or control our feelings isn't realistic. We can't easily control our emotions. What we can do is recognize them, ideally during the moments they arise and learn to become more accepting of them. When we notice frustration, anger or sadness, we pay attention to how they feel in our body and let those feelings and sensations be in the background, bubbling away on their own time. Read post.
#10 If you want to reach your goals faster, slow down.
When we make it a habit to slow down and take a conscious breath, we gain an edge. This simple act, strengthens our focus and sense of presence with others and ourselves. It helps us create a space between our emotions and our response, helping us see more clearly and be better prepared for the ups and downs and challenges that come at us in our day. Read post.
#11 Notice the happy moments.
We don't always pay attention to happy moments in our day, even though they happen more frequently than we realize. Science is showing if we hold one positive even in our awareness for 10-15 seconds, it increases our sense of happiness and helps us overcome our brain’s natural negativity bias. Read post.