Anyone living in our contemporary world has probably wondered: is all this running around really making my life better? Enter the counterrevolution. Parallel with a relentless world of work and connectivity comes a school of thought based on ancient Hindu/Buddhist concepts — mindfulness.
What is mindfulness? Definitions vary, but Joyce Russell, psychologist with the University of Maryland, describes it in a recent Washington Post article as a practice revolving around paying focused attention to the present moment, without judging or labeling the experience. She says that a reduction of stress, and increased contentment, self-fulfillment and productivity are benefits. Rob McGrath, a principal with Wind Rose Retreats, offers a similar explanation — the practice of staying open to the present experience without judgment, for the benefit of all.
To me, mindfulness also encompasses the sense of liking yourself, liking your actions and what you do, and thinking positively about those around you. It’s a thoughtful and purposeful way to recharge, slow down a bit from the everyday stresses, and feel good about yourself.
You can acquire or burnish these skills over the next couple of months while a series of eight separate long weekend retreats, organized by Wind Rose Retreats, unfolds at Stratton Mountain ski resort in southern Vermont.
Each retreat offers a deep dive into one aspect of the mindfulness experience. The series, eight in all, began on Sept. 18, and will run through Nov.16 at Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont.
Treat yourself to a new start of being mindful. The format is similar for all the workshops — morning and evening group sessions with time for relaxing, meditating, yoga, hiking, golf or working out at the resorts fitness center. It’s a perfect fall activity to do by yourself, with a significant other, or a group of friends. And, Stratton Mountain is a great place to get away, particularly in the fall with the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, where you can enjoy the outdoors and a host of other activities, or just relax.
These retreats will help you to reflect on your well-being, bring out your inner-self worth and re-establish your sense of purpose, in the things you do. They can literally, change your life. For more information visit windroseretreats.com.
But you don’t have to wait to attend a Retreat to start being mindful. Here are Three tips to start being mindful in your everyday routine:
1. Practice being more mindful during routine activities like getting dressed or eating meals. Try bringing more awareness to what you are doing and your surroundings.
2. Practice mindfulness while you wait. Like if you are stuck in traffic or waiting for a friend who is late. Try focusing on your breath and bringing attention to your inhaling and exhaling.
3. Practice sensing your body. Notice the way your feet hit the ground and the way your arms move when you walk or run.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s
What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I have accepted that I do make mistakes and that I can continually strive to improve in the everyday little things that I do.
What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I appreciate how calm and even-keeled my personality is and I’ve learned to understand that this is a trait which has a positive influence on others. I’m working on being able to show others how much I appreciate the little things they do.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
My children. I have tried to impart my values and beliefs and the ability to make sound choices on them as they have grown up (I have one girl and one boy, ages 15 and 18). They are wonderful, responsible, hard working kids who “do the right thing” when faced with difficult choices. I hope to continue this as they reach adulthood.
We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
I take my work so seriously and it helps form an important piece of my identity. Sometimes I think I should have more of a non-work persona and place greater emphasis on relaxation with friends instead of always working.
“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)
Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my personal time to exercise and to keep myself fit. I love my ability to be very dedicated to this and to ensure that time for exercise is built into my daily routine. I find that keeping a sound body helps keep a sound mind and keeps stress levels down.