Guest article by Melissa Steginus
Melissa Steginus is a productivity and wellness specialist and author of the new book, Everyday Mindfulness: 108 Simple Practices to Empower Yourself and Transform Your Life.
Mindfulness is about paying attention with intention. Powerful things happen when you take a moment to fully observe your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and surroundings. You begin to recognize what it means to be alive—to think, to feel, to exist in an infinite universe filled with infinite possibilities. When you give your full attention to the world around you and the one within you, you gain a deep appreciation for your existence, and you learn how to access the profound insights and wisdom you hold. You expand your consciousness, or rather, you tap into the full consciousness that already lies within you.
To be mindful is to embody this consciousness, to live your life in accordance with the realization that you’re alive. This process doesn’t have to be revolutionary. In fact, as you cultivate the simple yet profound practice of paying attention, most days might feel quite ordinary. This is because the transformative power of mindfulness lies in practice. You can use your daily tasks and routines to immerse yourself in the present moment and appreciate the wonder of your existence—if you pay attention.
Five mindful practices
- REFRESH YOURSELF
PURPOSE: When your phone or computer is on the fritz, what’s the first thing you do? Restart. When you feel frozen in the everyday roles and routines of life, take a moment to refresh. Unlike your computer, you don’t have to shut down entirely, but you might have to devote time, space, and energy back into yourself and what matters to you.
PRACTICE: Give yourself 15 minutes of attention when you need a quick refresher. Disconnect from daily distractions (I’m looking at you, email and social media). Go for a walk, listen to music, write in your journal, or sit quietly and focus on your breathing.
- BEGIN YOUR DAY UNPLUGGED
PURPOSE: Taking time with and for yourself reconnects you to your wants, needs, and goals. This is especially important first thing in the morning, as this is when you set the tone for your entire day. Avoiding email, social media, and other digital distractions gives you the space to add more focus and awareness to your morning so you can build habits for a meaningful day.
PRACTICE: Begin your day without distraction by practicing a short morning routine that’s simple and centered on you. Flip back to day 13 to review the morning routine you practiced in Chapter One. Or, simply take five deep breaths, stretch for five minutes, then make and eat breakfast sitting down at the table without technology or distractions.
- SPEAK KINDLY TO YOURSELF
PURPOSE: Most of us are so used to (and good at) prioritizing others that we often forget to give ourselves the love and kindness we need. Remember that you deserve to experience the patience and appreciation you show to others. When you practice these things with yourself, they will not only fill you up, but also pour out of you and into your relationships.
PRACTICE: Stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eye for 10 seconds. Tell yourself one specific thing you appreciate about yourself. Then, while maintaining eye contact, repeat the following:
- “I will be patient and kind with you.”
- “I appreciate you just as you are.”
- SET BOUNDARIES
PURPOSE: Saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to another. If you constantly put others first by saying “yes” to their wants and needs before your own, you’ll find your priorities pushed so far back that you can barely see them! Setting clear boundaries and expectations—with others and yourself—ensures that you say “yes” to your priorities.
PRACTICE: Exercise your personal accountability by reflecting on the goals and priorities you previously mapped out; keep these visible and let them guide your decisions. For instance, when an opportunity arises, ask yourself if it clearly resonates with your big-picture goals. If it does, you’ll know to explore it; if it does not, turn it down.
When you say “no,” be polite but firm. Here are some examples of how to kindly but effectively decline:
- “Thank you for asking, but I’m unavailable for X.”
- “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I can’t commit to Y.”
- “Z is my priority, and I feel like X and Y conflict with Z. Thank you, but I have to decline.”
- INVEST IN YOURSELF
PURPOSE: What you do today is a direct investment in your life tomorrow. When making choices—whether big or small—consider how they will impact your future. What do you want your future to look like? And what can you do today, for yourself, to move closer to that vision?
PRACTICE: Make a self-investment that leads you to action. Sign up for that fitness program, enroll in the course, or purchase those art supplies. Invest in what you value. This is how you get your biggest and most meaningful ROI (return on investment): personal satisfaction.
Discover more about Melissa and Mindfulness
Melissa’s motto is that “your time and energy are your most precious resources” and—through her books, courses, workshops, and coaching services—she helps people structure their work and lives to spend more of those resources on what matters. Melissa’s unique approach blends time, task, and energy management with self-care and mindfulness to serve her ultimate goal: to help others live more intentional, empowering, and fulfilling lives.
Everyday Mindfulness is a simple yet powerful tool for those interested in living with greater intention. The book is a collection of 108 simple mindfulness practices, with explanations of the purpose behind each practice, and over 300 reflection questions that encourage profound self-exploration and transformative action. It aims to make mindfulness simple and practical so you can live with greater clarity, intention, and purpose—whatever your schedule or spiritual beliefs.
Readers move through six areas of life—Physical, Emotional, Rational, Spiritual, Occupation, and Network—to cultivate and experience a holistic personal transformation:
- Physical: Listen to and reconnect with your body
- Emotional: Understand and trust your feelings
- Rational: Observe thoughts to gain mental clarity
- Spiritual: Explore questions around personal truth
- Occupation: Identify and invest in your priorities
- Network: Nourish relationships that add to your life
Each of these six sections has 18 exercises to help you reclaim, redefine, and realize your untapped potential within that area of your life. According to Author, Melissa Steginus, “You already have the inner resources you need to empower yourself, cultivate fulfillment, and transform your life, but you have to do the work to recognize and tap into these resources and your potential. That’s what this book is all about.”
Published on October 25, 2020, the book’s simple design and refreshingly down-to-earth approach to mindfulness continues to spark international interest and yield praise from experts in fields related to personal development. Hal Elrod, bestselling author of The Miracle Morning and The Miracle Equation, has formally endorsed the book, calling it “a must-have tool for anyone seeking a rich and fulfilled life.” Highlighting the book’s practical application, Elrod says, “Everyday Mindfulness bridges the gap between knowledge and action. This book will encourage you to be active and engaged in your life and will empower you to create the changes you want to see.”
For those interested in a sample, Melissa Steginus has offered excerpts from the book’s introduction and five practices that will impact how you engage with your children and yourself (and that will easily integrate into your already-jam-packed schedule!).
To learn more about Everyday Mindfulness and access the free reflection workbooks that accompany the book, visit MelissaSteginus.com/mindful. And once there, be sure to sign up for Melissa’s intentional and very practical newsletter.
Melissa Steginus is a productivity and wellness specialist and author of Everyday Mindfulness. Her mission is to help people work and live “by design versus by default” so they can spend their most precious resources—time and energy—on what matters to them. Learn more about Melissa and sign up for her intentional and practical newsletter at: melissasteginus.com.