Q and A from Finding Balance Through Mindfulness at Studio 614

I recently hosted session one of a four-part workshop series at Studio 614. Here is the Q and A from the exit tickets for “Finding Balance Through Mindfulness,” the first of the “Mindfulness for a Creative Life” workshop series.

How can I use the Wheel of Awareness practice in every day life?

The Wheel of Awareness practice is intended to help differentiate and then integrate the different streams of information (via sensation) that flow through our experiences.

Incorporating it into every day life is as easy as reminding yourself to pause and feel into your experiences.  You can ask yourself questions like:

  • How is it to hear right now?
  • How is it to see?
  • How is it to feel?
  • How is it to smell or to taste?

Just pause and be with whatever stimulus is available to you in the moment.  Notice what affect this has.

What is the best way to stick with a new habit?  

These are some tips I share in my workshops about starting a habit:

  1. Set a specific time and place for your practice each day.  Because habit is stronger than motivation, the easier and more consistent you make the practice the more likely you are to hold yourself to it later.  Create a space that is comfortable and welcoming (no need to go out and buy anything; your own bed will work).  Keep a notebook and a pencil in the space so that you have everything you need when you are ready.
  2. Let other people in your home know what you are doing.  Keeping others in the loop and letting them know why your practice is important to you will help them to respect the time and space you have set aside.  It has the added benefit of  holding you more accountable because you have shared your goals with other people.
  3. Mark your progress.  Research shows that we are more likely to do something if we see the positive results and feel like we are making progress toward our goals (duh, right?).  To this end, spend a few minutes journaling about your feelings and experiences after your formal mindfulness practice each day.  Note any progress or effects you have seen in your daily life.  Every week, quickly review what you have written and note the progress you have made.  This is fuel to keep going.
  4. Don’t set up false expectations about what your practice will be.  It’s not always going to be fun to sit in silence for ten minutes.  Let’s compare it to running.  I like to run maybe 20-50% of the time.  The other 50-80% of the time, I just do it because it is good for me.  If you tell yourself you “should” like it, you are setting up false expectations.  Just do it.  Even if it doesn’t feel good.  Like running, once you experience the results in your daily life because you are more fit, then you will be motivated to keep going.
  5. Take responsibility off of future self and place it with present self.  We all have a tendency to overestimate future self.  However, more likely than not, future self is not going to do anything present self isn’t willing to do.  Don’t project into the future about the person you will be.  Just be that person.  If you want to start a mindfulness practice, the time is always now.

Do you offer the Wex workshops in the summer?  

On Pause: Mindfulness at the Wex is a new program, and I believe there is an intention to continue it.  Check back with my Event Calendar in a few months for more information.

Can mindfulness treat ADHD?  Can it help with grief?  Can it treat those with addiction? 

Mindfulness is being used to treat many in psychological distress, including the three scenarios stated above.  With a quick internet search, you will find a wide range of resources (including books) on any of these topics.  Here are a few things I was able to find within minutes:

  • Mindfully ADD: This is a paid service site, but they also offer a wide variety of articles and tools for free.  This particular article cites a research study that shows how mindfulness affects ADHD.  The person who completed the study also wrote a book on the topic I believe.  (I have not read it so I don’t know if it is any good.)
  • A Meditation on Grief by Jack Kornfield: This is a guided recording for dealing with grief.  Again, with a quick internet search, I was able to find many research articles, resources and books for being with the grieving process through mindfulness.
  • Can Mindfulness Help Stop Substance Abuse? This article cites research for mindfulness-based interventions for substance abuse.  It is one of many resources I was able to find.

How does mindfulness help struggling students?  

This Project AWARE Information Brief was recently shared with me, and it provides a list of research that has been conducted using students as the primary audience for mindfulness training.

In addition, you may have seen this article from Upworthy (it has been sent to me by a number of folks!) about replacing detention with mindfulness practice.

I am working with a school right now training the adults in the building to use mindfulness tools for themselves, and the long-term goal is to create a comprehensive behavior plan that includes mindfulness and other emotion regulation tools for kids who struggle behaviorally.

Do you do similar workshops for teenagers?  

I was a high school teacher for seven years, so I love working with teens, though my primary audience thus far has been with adults.  I will be offering more public opportunities soon specifically for adolescents, including a mindfulness retreat.  Please feel free to email me for more information: brandi@learninglabconsulting.com

What is the origin of mindfulness practice?  

According to this document published by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, the formal practice of mindfulness has its root in Buddhism.  It states,

“‘’Mindfulness,’ as used in ancient texts, is an English translation of the Pali word, sati, which connotes awareness, attention, and remembering. Pali is the language in which the teachings of the Buddha were originally recorded. The first dictionary translation of sati into “mindfulness” dates to 1921 (Davids & Stede, 1921/2001).”

Have you registered for the next workshop?  As a quick, additional reminder, if you have yet to register for the full series, the registration fee from the first workshop can be deducted from the cost.  Just shoot me an email request.


Questions?  Comments?  Leave your thoughts below.

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