Mindfulness Activity #171
Good Morning. The topic of today’s mindfulness blast is being effective. The word agency refers to the degree to which an individual believes that they have the ability to freely make choices and to engage in actions in their life consistent with their choices. When we have a felt sense that we can choose how we act and that our actions matter then anything is possible. But, many things interfere with our experience that we can make changes in our lives or in the lives of others– systematic oppression, trauma or abuse, or even being overprotected can all diminish a person’s sense that they can effect change in their own life. Half of the challenge involved in changing anything is believing you have the capability to change your situation. The other half is having the tenacity and discipline to stay the course as you make smaller steps, pick yourself up after mistakes, and keep moving in the direction you want to move.
The practice of mindfulness increases effectiveness by increasing one’s focus and one’s capabilities. If you can manage your thoughts and emotions without getting swept away by them, your sense of control is enhanced. If you can stay on track, warding off distraction, you can accomplish things great and small. If you have ever decided you wanted to get something done and then blown it off, you know the defeated feeling you get. It can create a cycle of helplessness and even depression. Mindfulness helps to overcome this stuck feeling.
So paying attention to the moment, and bringing yourself back when your mind veers off increases your capability to achieve long term goals. Paying more careful attention to your experience helps you to identify your own personal preferences so you can choose goals aligned with your authentic values.
Today’s practice designed to increase effectiveness will not be a guided practice. It is a quiet one. To begin, get a piece of paper or simply list in your mind all the things you need or wish to accomplish today. If you are anything like me, that act generates a little anxiety. Breathe deeply from a standing position.
Instruction: Listen to each of the three bells that starts the practice. The practice will also end with three consecutive bells Throughout this 10 minute practice, you will hear bells with periods of silence in between. The task is to walk or sit while breathing focusing just on the sounds of the bells, your breath and your body. If you get distracted or start thinking of what you need to do today, breathe and try to refocus your attention on a breath, on our body and on the changing sound of the bells.
Now, click the following mindfulness timer to begin your practice…continue until you can no longer hear the third bell that ends the practice.
When you are finished, reflect on the fact that no matter how many times you had to refocus, you stayed with the task. If you quit before your time, figure out what prompted the urge to quit and work on that. To extend this practice, you can sit and take a few breaths whenever you have a quiet moment. Reflect on what goal or goals are most important to you. What is needed to get to those goals. You can use your mindfulness practice to set meaningful personal goals. You can also mindfully engage in smaller tasks that give you a sense of control and capability so you have the energy and belief in yourself to achieve longer term goals.
I wish you a productive day!