For many people, me included, the idea of mindfulness was minding your own business or thinking about what you’re doing before you do it.
I had no concept that mindfulness encapsulated how you actually live your life and that this can filter to your business mindset.
Rushing into a meeting without taking a breath to get into the right headspace can result in chaos, but when you take on even a few aspects of mindfulness you can step into a new space more easily with your mind fully engaged – which is great for (often) flighty entrepreneurs! I know, I know, it sounds like complete woo woo. Kind of like the idea of a grapefruit diet. But it’s true!
How I discovered mindfulness
I am the type of person that will try something on for size, so I said yes to attend a mindfulness retreat in Bali.
There were two things that were difficult to overcome when I agreed to go: the first is that as a mum taking time out for myself is a challenge, and the second was putting myself in a place for personal growth and change.
But I’m glad I made it happen, because I found so much more than I expected.
In the words of Charlotte Tharrup-Owen, a Mindfulness Practitioner, “Mindfulness is an ancient practice now backed by science that replaces pain, confusion and dissatisfaction with calm, kindness and clarity”.
From my perspective, mindfulness is about focusing in on the present moment.
Rather than living our lives in a space of flighty thought and hurried decisions, you take the time to meditate each day.
Meditation has taken me by surprise. I thought it was something that only yogis did, but now I understand that by taking the time to meditate regularly using specific breathing techniques, my mind is far more calm and more accepting of stressful situations.
My business day has also improved in that my mind is more settled and ready to tackle even the most difficult tasks. Just imagine how it would feel to work with focus, purpose and a clear mind.
To give you a complete picture, my life can get pretty crazy… I run my own marketing business and now Australia’s first marketing franchise, as well as charity work and even writing a children’s book on the side, so it’s easy to have my mind constantly pulled too many directions.
I am not going to pretend that I am a mindfulness expert, I just took what worked for me and can’t recommend it enough.
Mindfulness has taken me from a self-confessed over-thinker to a person who can find calm in that proverbial teacup containing one helluva storm!
How I have applied mindfulness
So here is what I learned and what has worked for me and my business:
Being aware of your own thoughts, positive and negative gives me amazing strength and allows me to then address them so that they become productive thoughts or the negative thoughts can be addressed, rather than circulating the same thoughts over and over and taking up precious brain space.
When my workload seems out of reach, I take the time to meditate. Meditation isn’t as weird as you might think. It feels amazing and your mind and body will thank you for it.
In a state of overwhelm, using mindful meditation I can bring myself back to place a productivity.
When you are struggling, reach out and communicate to someone close.
Being present in any moment is never a waste of time.
Good food feeds the belly, mind and soul.
Taking time for yourself is just as important as being there for your family and business.
Your professional life will thrive when you sort out the crap in your mind.
True acceptance of others brings you joy.
Noticing and removing thoughts of judgment calms the mind and soul.
Treat yourself as you would your child and your soul will smile.
I often talk about work and life and the impossibility of having true balance and that life ebbs and flows, kind of like the ocean.
What I have found is that by bringing mindful practices to my life I have been able to transition from work to life and back far more easily. It has helped to clear away the mind chatter and has brought me to a place of focus and clarity.
Think about those moments in your career when your workload is heavy, you have calls and emails to return and many people to answer to. In that moment of overwhelm, you can take yourself to a place of peace and calm through a short meditation.
It is simply incredible what can be achieved in a place of calm. When the mind is quietened, the ability to focus on the overall plan and then the project at hand crystalises.
Here’s what I ask. Just try it.
Belinda Bow founded Green Chilli Marketing in 2008 and has recently launched Australia’s first marketing franchise opportunity for talented marketers to have a successful career and work life that fits in with their lifestyle. Belinda is a Certified Practising Marketer and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute.