Developing mindfulness

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking MindfulnessIncreasing your mindfulness is a great way to center, relax, and refresh yourself.

Becoming more mindful or more aware, will help you focus on what really matters to you and will allow you to live or define your purpose and to ignite your passion for living with purpose. It can provide you with new energy, enthusiasm, and motivation.

Like the words of a good friend or a caring, loving parent or mentor, mindfulness can pave the way or provide a sense of permission to help you erase any lingering doubts that you have the right to live with passion and purpose.

Mindfulness takes practice, but is a warm and kind way to treat yourself, to allow your dreams to surface and grow, and to give thanks and wings to who you really are or want to be.

Here’s how to develop daily mindfulness . . .

As you go through your day and doubts or recriminations enter your mind, stop what you are doing, take a deep, slow, breathe and gently tell yourself “As I follow my passion, the world becomes a better place.”

If that particular sentence doesn’t work for you, create one that does and use it throughout the day to build your confidence and to create space in your mind and heart for peace and tranquility and new pathways for positivity. The more meaningful the sentence you create is to you, the more likely you will be to remember and use it. Using it will create the space your need to grow more mindful by allowing you to control what you choose to focus on any moment.

Living with purpose can be as personal as wanting to be the best person, friend, staff member, mom, sister, aunt, dad, brother, or uncle you can be. It can be as global as righting social wrongs and inequalities and saving lives. It can be fueled by the fun of inspiring others to learn, sing, dance, paint, read or write or the creative satisfaction of doing those things yourself.

True passion is like slipping into your favorite jeans or pajamas. It’s not fueled by anger or resentment. It’s based on understanding, compassion and joy. Pursuing your passion, feels good – or at least worthwhile – even when challenges arise. True passion and purpose provide the energy and creativity to move forward or around obstacles and provide a soft place for you to fall at the end of each day. Living with purpose it not always easy, but it is rewarding.

You alone get to choose your purpose. And, as long as you choose, you can’t get it wrong, because if you choose it for yourself you are on the right path.

This post was inspired by mindful moments of peace and passion experienced while listening to 21 Days of Gratitude, for which I am very thankful! My favorite sentence thus far is –“With profound gratitude, I live my purpose.”

Wishful Thinking Ways #7

 

CHANGE

Let’s start today by talking about change. Change is about transformation. It’s about making something different from what it was. At Wishful Thinking Works the changes we seek relate to our lives; how we see and live them; what we choose to do and who we choose to do it with.

Some Wishful Thinkers are seeking dramatic changes – they want to overhaul their lives. Others just want a tune-up. Still others have no clue what they want – and that’s okay. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of change Wishful Thinking Ways can be helpful to you.

If you do the work, the answers will come!

 

COMMITMENT

You’ve already showed your commitment by returning to Wishful Thinking Ways for 7 weeks. Congratulations! Commitment is what keeps us going when the going gets tough, and that’s what leads to success. Now we want to discover and develop your passion. (If you are new this week, start here!)

 

PASSION

I think of “passion” in two ways:

  1. What you choose to do with your life – your passion. “My passion in life is  __________________.”
  2. How you feel about your life or the changes you are making. “I’m passionate and excited about improving/changing/discovering/learning _______________________.”

This week’s assignment is designed to help you discover and develop your passions, and it too is two-part. If you did not complete last week’s exercise, please do so now and then put it aside for 3-4 days. Also make sure you have or have purchased good quality, large drawing paper and colored pencils, markers, crayons or paints.

Part I

  1. If you’ve been keeping up with the exercises, you should have already answered these questions.
  2. Please re-answer them now without looking back at your previous answers.
  3. Make sure you complete the last part of the exercise.
  4. Now, using the large drawing paper and the pencils, markers, paints, etc. create a visual representation of your new”Why” answers.
  5. Be creative. The goal of this exercise is to doodle and draw your way to insights.
  6. Make more than one drawing if you want to, let the drawings lead you to new ideas and new drawings.
  7. Don’t worry about your drawing skills or art ability – use symbols and words if you are not comfortable drawing.
  8. When you’re done with your drawings, go back and compare this week’s and last week’s answers.
  9. Make a new drawing of any answers that appeal to you in any way.

Part II

This section can been done immediately following or days after Part I.

  1. Draw how you would like your life to look. (Remember you can use words and symbols, if you are uncomfortable drawing.)
  2. Include everything in your drawing that you want in your future. 
  3. If you want a new job, to find the love of your life, to write a book,  take a vacation or to be skinnier, kinder, richer, happier, etc. make sure your drawing includes details about it. Be creative!  
  4. Do not censor yourself. Do not worry if these things are possible or probable, just draw what you want in your life.

Please do not skip this week’s exercise. Wishful Thinking Works workshop participants and clients have found it uber-helpful and have let me know months and years later that they still have their drawings and are amazed how many of the dreams and details they drew have come to life. The key is to use the drawings to start visualizing and formalizing your dreams and goals.

Final tips:

  1. Have fun; don’t judge your ideas or your art skills, just go with it.
  2. Use large, good quality paper and colored drawing tools! (Too small a paper limits your thoughts, plain paper makes you less likely to value and save your drawings, and using color and different mediums enhances your ability to capture and communicate your thoughts and dreams – and, that is what Wishful Thinking Ways is all about!)
  3. If you find yourself aimlessly or even intentionally searching the web this week, spending too much time on Facebook, standing in front of the frig or sitting in front of the TV, STOP!  Instead, get out your drawing paper and colored whatever, and start drawing what changes you would like to see in yourself or in your life or draw the things you love or appreciate in your life now.

And, save some paper and pencils for next week’s Wishful Thinking Ways #8!

Oprah’s words worth remembering

 

I loved Oprah’s show. I didn’t watch it every day or even every week, but when I did I always enjoyed it and almost always learned something new about myself or the world. Here’s what Oprah has meant to me over the years, along with her words from her last show, which I think are well-worth repeating.

O – Opportunity

 “. . . Each one of you has your own platform. Do not let the trappings here fool you. Mine is a stage in a studio, yours is wherever you are with your own reach, however small or however large that reach is. Maybe it’s 20 people, maybe it’s 30 people, 40 people, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your classroom, your co-workers. Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies. In every way, in every day, you are showing people exactly who you are. You’re letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have. My great wish for all of you who have allowed me to honor my calling through this show is that you carry whatever you’re supposed to be doing, carry that forward and don’t waste any more time. Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.”

P – Passion

“What I knew for sure from this experience with you is that we are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it . . . Because that is what a calling is. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you and hope that you will take from this show. To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”

R – Renewal

“After deliberating for some time, we decided to do what we do best, and that is a show about and with everyday people. This show always allows people, hopefully, to understand the power they have to change their own lives.”

A – Accountability

“One of the best examples of this was Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor who was on the show talking about the book My Stroke of Insight. She was a 37-year-old, Harvard-educated brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke in the left part of her brain. She couldn’t speak or remember her own mother, but when doctors and nurses walked into her room, she knew from the right brain who was on her side. She could feel their energy. 

Dr. Taylor sent me a sign that I have hanging in my makeup room. It says, ‘Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.’ And I ask the same thing in my home and at my companies. Thank you, Dr. Taylor, for that simple but powerful lesson. All life is energy and we are transmitting it at every moment. We are all little beaming little signals like radio frequencies, and the world is responding in kind.”

H – Happiness

“The show has taught me there is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering, and that is unworthiness. Not feeling worthy enough to own the life you were created for. Even people who believe they deserve to be happy and have nice things often don’t feel worthy once they have them. 

There is a difference, you know, between thinking you deserve to be happy and knowing you are worthy of happiness. That never became clearer to me than this year in a moment I shared with Iyanla Vanzant, an expert who had been a regular on our show 12 years ago, and we were trying to develop a show for her, for her own show, and she left to do a show with somebody else and we hadn’t spoken since. 

What I got was we often block our own blessings because we don’t feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough . . . you’re worthy because you are born and because you are here. Your being here, your being alive makes worthiness your birthright. You alone are enough.”

Throughout the past 25 years, Oprah helped me see that I needed to create opportunities to discover and live my passions, to renew myself and my life on an ongoing basis, and to hold myself accountable for the good (thank you) and the tough stuff (ouch, and ouch again) in my life, and to find a way to be happy and to share happiness along the way. 

Thank you Oprah, you will be missed.

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