Mindfulness sounded like a practice that aligned with smell flowers and watching cloud which was too far from where I was in my life of deadlines, conference calls, and datacenter outages. In fact, when I read about a ten-day silent retreat it seemed like punishment rather than enlightenment. Spoiler – I would love this escape now!
The concept is to remove yourself from electronic distractions, the daily grind and the stress and responsibility of work and family to find a greater connection within yourself.
The Greater Good out of Berkley defines mindfulness as the following:
“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.
Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.”
I found the best way to get started with the practice of seeking a mindfulness state-of-mind is to embrace the quiet of your own thoughts. I was not able to do this alone so I signed up for an 8-week class that helped me understand how to be effective! It did not happen right away but with practice, I was able to see a noticeable difference.
There are many resources and websites that help us gain clarity and perspective with the help of mindfulness. RelaxLikeABoss has a great post called The Mindfulness Symbol that shares how the practice and symbol will help you be present and aware of your surroundings!
Regular practice of silent meditation has helped me manage stress but also with my decision-making abilities with more clarity. A great way to create your mindfulness space is highlighted in THE BECK LIFE: Creating a Space for Meditation: Considerations for all Senses.
Personal Mindfulness Journey
I begin my personal journey of mindfulness at a retreat in Sedona. I have chronicled that experience and the subsequent study in a series of articles that have been published on Thrive Global.
The best thing I have learned from meditation and my retreats is being able to recognize that my mind and ego have an agenda that may differ from my soul. I have to be able to create space for my spiritual self to work around my ego that is often working from a place of fear. Contrary to my fear-based ego, my soul and spiritual nature are working from a place of love.
This quote from Marc and Angel is a great quote for what I’m working on within my meditation practice.
Meditation Alone or in a Group Setting
Meditation alone or in retreats is a tool to work around your thoughts for meaning, purpose, and alignment.
I created Together We Seek Retreats as a place for women to come together to explore tools and techniques to help them work around their ego voice and find their truest self.
Grounding is necessary for many of us that have been running toward external metrics most of our lives only to find that they are not as rewarding as we had hoped.
One way to get started on your mindfulness journey is by trying a meditation app. HealthLine compiled a listing of the best meditation apps of 2018 – check them out and see if one is a good fit for you.
Now is the time to seek from within to find the joy, connection, and purpose we were put here to create.
Business Benefits of Mindfulness
Let’s circle back to the initial discussion that business leaders are starting to explore silent retreats for the purpose of a greater connection to mindfulness. What are the benefits for business leaders, you ask?
- Stress reduction
- Increased creative thinking
- Reduced emotional responses to challenging situations
- Improved focus
- Increase in memory
- Improved relationship interactions
The ten-day “prison” setting retreat discussion in the Fast Company article may not being an experience you are interested in. However, as individuals and business leaders, the movement to a more mindful way of thinking has immeasurable benefits.
I invite you to seek out ways to spend a few minutes a day to remove yourself from your normal activities and connect with your inner spirit.
- The Power of Words: Being Mindful
- Become More Employable with Tech and Marketing Skills
- Build a Personal Brand for a Specific Opportunity
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
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