Emotional Intelligence

Learning to Appreciate the Moment

Here’s a mindfulness exercise that may awaken you to the benefits of sipping rather than gulping, of appreciation rather than racing through to finish everything (as we mentioned in my previous post).

Mindfulness exercise: Next time you have a drink of anything— water, coffee, tea, soda, or fruit juice :

  • Begin by drinking it the way you would normally drink the liquid, not really focused on drinking but continuing to think and do what you would normally do. You are aware that you’re drinking, but you’re not being mindful of the process.
  • Now, bring all your focus to drinking your liquid. Pay attention to all your senses.
    • Visual: Notice the color; is it translucent, transparent or opaque?
    • Smell: Smell your liquid; does it have an aroma? If it does, How would you describe it?
    • Kinesthetic: If it has a texture, notice it as well as the temperature of the liquid in your mouth. Pay attention to how it feels as you swallow. Can you feel it as it flows down your throat?
    • Taste: Notice any flavor or lack of flavor. How would you describe the nuances of the flavor?
    • Sound: Notice the sounds you make as you sip and the sound that you hear when you swallow.
  • When you compare simply being aware of drinking liquid and of drinking the liquid mindfully, what do you learn about the value of mindfulness?
    • How did expand your mind? If you become more mindful as a leader of your own thinking processes and how you pay attention to what’s really important, is it with awareness or mindfulness?
    • How can this benefit you and those you influence?
  • Choose a quiet location. A quiet place with few distractions allows for more focus and less interruption. This can be particularly helpful for beginners. Individuals who have been practicing meditation for a longer period of time sometimes develop the ability to meditate in public places, like waiting rooms or on buses.
  • Assume a comfortable posture. You can meditate while sitting, lying down, standing, walking, or in any other position. Choose what is most comfortable for you and what allows you to focus without physical pain or discomfort, and without dozing off.
  • Take calming breaths. Stopping the ever-present train of thought in the mind is much easier said than done. A good way to begin is to take several deep cleansing breaths, think about how your body breathes and notice what it feels like to have air go into your lungs and back out. Relax your muscles from the neck down by consciously thinking about each area and relaxing it.
  • Allow the mind to fill with positive energy. Allow thoughts to come and go as you remain positive and relaxed. Consider your life, as it will be when your goals manifest in your body. Imagine even the smallest detail. Release any negative thoughts and practice gratitude for the good that you have experienced so far.

Once you’ve done part of this exercise, reflect on how you feel: more aware, more present, more mindful? Please let me know. Thanks for sharing.

For questions about this post or for information on becoming a fearless leader, contact Dr. Cathy Greenberg and The Fearless Leader Group at (888) 320-1299 or by email at hello@fearlessequalsfreedom.com.

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