Monday marked my 5 year anniversary at Llewellyn. Hoorah! Anniversaries often become moments of pause where we reflect on the past, commemorating a significant date and events that have unfolded over time, but it’s been a very mindful week around here! Instead of looking to the past, we’ve been all about finding ourselves in the present moment.
Yesterday Kate Sciandra, author of The Mindfulness Habit: Six Weeks to Creating the Habit of Being Present, came to talk about her book and share simple practices we can make use of throughout our everyday lives. “This doesn’t have to be difficult or painful,” she stressed. “You don’t need to go off on a 10 day retreat to learn this. If nothing else, just come back to your breath. Notice how you’re breathing. Breath can lead you to feelings of anger and panic, but deep calm breathing can take you to a place of less stressed emotion.”
We all took a moment for some deep breaths and then practiced listening to our surroundings. Minds wandered, but we all did our best to come back to our breath and place our attention toward hearing what was around us. “It does get easier,” she promised. Her grounded presence was encouraging (see the end of this post for a breathing practice you can try).
From Time magazine to the yoga studio, and maybe even your child’s classroom, the mindful revolution is making its rounds. But why? If you want to achieve calmness, better health and happiness, and practice a more sustainable lifestyle, mindfulness can help you reach your goals. And it’s a practice that can be applied to virtually every aspect of your life.
Like many others, I live incessantly in the future (worry) and past (guilt and regret). Thus, my present is often a tangle of anxiety and Eeyore hum drum. Thanks to this trend of mindful focus, I’ve become aware of the unhealthy tricks our minds play and have been learning how to be here now, in this moment.
As Sciandra noted, mindfulness allows you to notice your reactions as they are bubbling up, before you release them into the world. As a result, you gain space to pause and choose how you want to proceed instead of living from the automatic reactivity most of us are guided by. “This can change your entire life,” she passionately declared.
She’s not the only one trying to shout this from rooftops and help our overwhelmingly stressed world. Today Llewellyn releases a book two years in the making to help you find balance and be where you are. It’s a big book with a whole lot of heart. In Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living you’ll find a comprehensive gathering of awareness and meditation practices for living in the present moment. Contributors discuss basic understanding and practices, health, loving your body, reaching potential, and the importance of subtle energy and spirit. I’ll let it speak for itself:
This book is a team effort. A variety of leaders in the field of meditation and mindfulness came together to contribute chapters on their specific areas of expertise. Each author has a strong personal and professional background in the topic they offer.
Michael Bernard Beckwith, William L. Mikulas, Amy B. Scher, and Keith Park give you foundational ideas on mindful practice and stress reduction. Danielle MacKinnon, Angela Wix, Rachel Avalon, Melissa Grabau, Sarah Bowen, Jeanne Van Bronkhorst, and Servet Hasan share facets of health-related mindfulness practices. Inspiring love for your body, Rolf Gates, Melanie Klein, and Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson offer wisdom and guidance. Ana Holub, Guy Finley, Jack Canfield, Deborah Sandella, Tess Whitehurst, Alexandra Chauran, and Shakta Khalsa inspire you to reach a higher potential through your mindful endeavors. Thomas Moore, Cyndi Dale, and Sherrie Dillard offer perspectives on the more subtle spiritual aspects of mindfulness practice. Each of these unique voices rings with truth and enthusiasm so that you, the reader, have access to a complete guide for mindful living.
The voices of the book’s introduction, as well the introductions to each section, are offered by Robert Butera and Erin Byron, who also contribute chapters. Robert and Erin have a combined fifty-year practice in meditation and mindful living…
When we witness our inner experiences objectively, there is great potential for improvement in our lives. This book was written with you, the reader, in mind. Knowing that mindfulness is a deeply personal path, this book is designed so that you can begin at the place that is most relevant for you, immediately applying the information and practices therein.
We wish you the best on this path of mindful living.
This new book releases today. Until your book arrives, enjoy this relaxing practice of soothing sounds and breathwork. This clever video even let’s you set the speed you want to comfortably breathe in time with the expansion and contraction of the shapes.
Find your peaceful present and have a happy Friday, everyone!