Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

Start within – the mindful roadmap to empowering mental health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and there’s never been a better time to begin a new wellbeing practice. Are you ready to create a self-caring and empowering relationship within you?

Last week, I wrote about the importance of creating powerful conversations within you, so today’s focus is practical and provides a how-to-do mindfulness roadmap, as well as an easy access heartfulness exercise to practice. (If you would like to know more about why it matters, you can catch up https://www.atribecalledwoman.com/category/blog/

Here’s my mini mindfulness roadmap on how to start a powerful inward conversation TODAY:

  1. Create a space to be with yourself and agree a time limit. Turn devices on silent and place the faces down – better still put them in another room.
  2. Check in with your perspective? How are you approaching this conversation and what needs to be in place for you to be fully present and mindful? (Top tip: adopt a beginner’s mind perspective and give yourself permission to explore).
  3. If stepping into your being feels strange, scary or you are in avoidance in any way, take a moment to loosen up. Play a song you love, close your eyes, breathe and feel the music in your body. Now you are ready to go deeper.
  4. Spend five minutes, simply breathing and listening to your own breath in silence. If unwelcome thoughts come along, simply breathe them out – breathe in peace, breathe out distractions. Remember you are not your thoughts, you are simply observing them. 
  5. Choose one question you would like to focus on? (Who am I? What’s my dream? What is my purpose? What do I need to let go of in my life? What do I currently not have in my life that I would like more of?) Hold the question and allow your inner knowing to rise – work with the same question for one week and see what wants to be revealed. Some questions can be lifelong companions. Learn to love these enquiry questions and their meaning and you will discover many ways to rise. 
  6. Remember, you are always at choice: What choices will you make today and from what place? Who will you be when you’re doing?

You don’t need to be a meditative monk to be mindful..

What I love about this work, is that it invites us to get creative and find new ways to work within. Some days there is a limit on time and focus, but that doesn’t mean you need to skip your inward conversation and journey. 

Here is one of my quick heartfulness recovery go-to practices:

Remove screens, close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and say silently to yourself, I am here. Keep breathing and saying, I am here and observe, how you relax into this moment. Spend anything from one minute to twenty minutes doing this simple, yet powerful practice. This exercise really works, so do yourself a huge favour and engage…

This blog is part of a Powerful Conversations series written by Karen Heras-Kelly, which includes the following articles: 

  • Building bridges one conversation at a time
  • Listen to reconnect
  • Now is the time for leaders to recover to self
  • When I say Powerful Conversation, you assume?
  • Make your dreams bigger than your limiting beliefs
  • Start by creating powerful conversations within you 

You can catch up on the full series at https://www.atribecalledwoman.com/category/blog/ Karen is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Leadership facilitator, meditation and creative visualisation expert. Karen is the founder of A Tribe Called Woman and the Breathe Time at work project.

When I say powerful conversation, you assume…?

This is my fourth article in my Powerful Conversations series and writing it has really got me thinking, in a good way. I’m reflected on some of my recent powerful conversations and realised that these often rise from a place of challenge or a desire for change. There is a definite pull towards a set outcome and change I’m committed to. 

At this point, I’ve tuned into my intuition or inner knowing and I’m following a path that will see me create a space to speak, listen, feel, agree or disagree and then (hopefully) build a new agreement. Or at the very least, agree to reflect and reconnect with the idea of a new outcome next time.  I realise that conversations feel transformational even if the end goal is a long way away because investing time to be with another human feels good when I move from an open heart and mind.

Often when we approach a powerful conversation we have already made our mind how it will be:

This is all very nice so far isn’t it. But here’s the thing, often when we approach a powerful conversation we have already made our mind how it will be, what we will experience, how we will feel and if it will be a success. Feelings like stress, dread, trepidation can overtake what is really happening in the moment and diminish the opportunity to be seen, heard and understood from all sides. What if the biggest gift you could give to someone today was to say, “I’ve never thought of it like that, that’s really interesting, thank you for sharing.”

Breaking free of the old mould:

Without taking time to reflect, often we have framed the conversation in a certain way, based upon our own life experiences and through automatic lenses or a rigid perspective. I hear these words a lot, “I really hate confrontation, which automatically creates an assumption that the conversation will be difficult and painful.” When you show up from this place, it’s likely that you will appear defensive, rigid and closed, and it will show in your face, words and body language.

This is where the commitment to sustainable change becomes essential because without this approach, a resonate outcome for all will be hard to reach. It requires some inner processing and clarity because you are required to both stand in your own shoes and adopt a resonant perspective, as well as see the world through different eyes, only then are you freed up to truly listen and create. 

Karen’s work as a Certified leadership facilitator, coach and visualisation expert empowers you to have high level, powerful and expansive conversations.

Let me give you an example…

If I invited you to engage in a powerful conversation with me how would you feel? What would your first (automatic) response be? What would you assume about me, the conversation and its impact on you? Most importantly, would you be open to the experience?

It is true to say that nearly all humans I have ever met (including myself) have some kind of issue with the idea of power, they want more of it, they fear it, they dislike it, they rebel against it and so on.

Several years ago, I taught at my local university within the faculty of business and law, and asked students across two classes to bring examples of powerful campaigns in for discussion. Their response astounded me, every student from a class of 45 translated the word powerful negatively collecting images focused around nicotine, cancer, war etc. But hope was not totally lost, as one student showcased a different perspective on powerful. Her story communicated the positive impact loving your body (regardless of its outer form) can have on self-esteem. 

BUT the real takeaway from this article is this:

What if the request for a powerful conversation could be a spark that lit you and others up from the inside? What if my intention was to tell you what I saw in you, how you made me feel and how much I valued our relationship? 

These words stand as an invitation to create some space for heart-warming (and powerful) conversations with others – because who said that all powerful conversation need to be steeped in negative conflict? What if this could be a whole hearted and glorious experience for all, now that’s a wonderful perspective to adopt?

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  • Before you dive in take some time to clear your assumptions and choose a perspective that excites you and makes you feel alive.
  • Then reflect on their impact on you, how they make you feel and what they bring to your day/week etc? 
  • When you think of this person or the topic that you would like to discuss, what do you feel, what do you believe and what do you want them to take away? By accessing your own feelings, you can really bring the conversation to life and that’s very exciting.
  • Then step into the circle, and honour their contribution – making sure you pay close attention to your own impact as you do so?

This blog is part of a Powerful Conversations series written by Karen Heras-Kelly. Karen is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Leadership facilitator, meditation and creative visualisation expert. Karen is the founder of A Tribe Called Woman and the Breathe Time at work project.

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