Cultivating Mindfulness in Our Everyday Lives

All month we’ve been talking about mindfulness, and today I want to leave you with some practices that will help you to begin cultivating mindfulness in your everyday.
 
What is mindfulness? The term gets thrown around a lot these days. It’s particularly hot and trendy to talk about mindfulness…but what does it really mean?
 

To be mindful is to pay attention to what’s actually happening in your experience.

 
It sounds so obvious that you would think, “aren’t we always doing that?” Actually no.
More often than not we are lost in thought. Our minds like to live in the past and in the future. You might catch yourself replaying or reliving something in the past, OR you’re planning for or fixating on something that’s happening in the future. Neither of those places is right here, right now. While it’s super easy for our minds to get caught up in the past or future OUR BODY, lucky for us, is always in the present moment.
 

Our body is our number one resource for cultivating mindfulness. 
 

There are tremendous benefits to cultivating mindfulness:

  • We have a depth of connection with ourselves and people around us.

  • We experience less depression and less anxiety.

  • We have a greater overall sense of wellbeing as well as a confidence in our ability to handle what comes up.

 
I want to leave you with what, in retreats, we refer to as “S.S.S.” These are practices you can take with you anywhere, anytime and we like to call them “doorways to the now.”  
 

 
The Three S’s

 
The first is SILENCE. Now, before you go thinking you have to run off and meditate for hours a day or something ridiculous, it doesn’t mean that. It just means taking a pause to notice the silence that underlies everything.
 
I like to do this in the first moment I get in the car, before I buckle my seatbelt or put the keys in the ignition. I just pause, take a breath and sink in to being present with what I’m doing.
 
Those types of little moments really add up over time. It could be before you walk out the door, before you get dressed in the morning…I have a meditation teacher that would tell you to do this when you sit down to pee. Everybody pees and you do it multiple times a day so it’s the perfect place to just pause and get present to the silent and stillness. Even if it’s noisy! What’s so interesting is that when you start practicing this one, you start to notice the silence is always there, even when it’s vague.
 
 
The second S is SENSING. Awaken your senses. you can put your attention on one sense to start. Just listen. Just look. Just smell.
 
A great place to start practicing this is when you wash your hands. Of all the times per day you wash your hands, could you tell me if the water was hot or cold, or what it felt like? Do you appreciate the feeling of your hands touching each other? Awaken your world to the senses around you.
 
 
The third S -- SAY YES. Whatever is happening in your experience, can you say, “yes?” Stop fighting or pushing it away and just allow it to be there.
 
There is traffic and you’re sitting in it, you’re tense…that little part of you inside is just saying, “no.” You don’t want things to be this way, and you just want out. Saying an internal no is only going to cause you suffering. So, how can you say, “yes?”  Notice how your whole world can soften and open up inside of that acceptance.
 
 
You can practice S.S.S. all together, all at once.
 
Imagine your alarm goes off at 5:30 am. Your natural instincts make you say “no,” but if you practice S.S.S. you pause for a moment to appreciate the silence. You feel the weight of your body on the bed and the sheets on your skin. It’s time to get up. You say,” yes,” to this day, “yes” to getting started and “yes” to life.
 
 
 
I offer this as a starting point. Starting in the body, right where you are is perfect. Remember S.S.S. You don’t have to do them all at once; if you can just remember one “S” during any given moment and tap into that it will help bring you into whatever moment in which you find yourself. Anytime we can be more present we experience greater fulfillment—ALWAYS.

Wholehearted Yeses and Nos

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We live wholeheartedly when our thoughts, feelings and who we’re being in the world are in sync. In other words, when we are being honest and true to ourselves and living aligned with our authentic values. Definite power and freedom comes from living in this wholehearted way.
 
I challenge you to notice what it feels like in your body when you tell the truth. Even when simply choosing the clothes you will wear for the day or what you’ll have for dinner, check in and notice -- what does truth feel like for me?
 
Let’s expand this practice further.
 
Let’s talk about wholeheartedly saying yes and no. Are there some areas of your life where you say yes when you really want to say no? And/or, do you ever say no because for some reason you think you should, even though everything in your heart is screaming yes?
 
This is a great practice field, since we get many opportunities each day to say yes and no. There is ample opportunity to practice tuning into the truth when it comes to giving truthful answers.
 
This is your work for the week: take a pause whenever someone asks you a question, extends an invitation or makes a request of you -- whenever you are given an opportunity to say yes or no.
 
Remember what it felt like in your body to tell the truth. Take a few deep breaths and answer with whatever is true for you -- regardless of how challenging or scary it may be.
 
For example, a friend invites you to go out to dinner on Saturday night. Your mind may tell you you should do that, because they’re your friend and it will be fun. However, when you breathe into it, the idea feels stressful. You have a busy weekend planned and really just want to spend a quiet evening at home. Be willing to risk disappointing them and say no anyway.
 
Take it to the practice field in relationship to saying yes or no.
 
You are courageous; you can do it! Notice how liberating it is to tell the truth and to say yes or no wholeheartedly.
 
If you have any questions about this exercise, feel free comment below. And download the pdf below for journal prompts to support you.
 

DOWNLOAD JOURNAL PROMPT

TIFFANY BEDNARComment
What am I really available for? A simple practice to help you get clear.

I want to offer you a tool that I use on a regular basis.
 
I tend to pull this out when I’m feeling confused or unsure. What recently brought me to do it is that I’m grappling with a big decision where I’m a little unclear, so I’m taking a pause to anchor myself to my commitments and what works for me.
 
I learned this exercise from the brilliant Darla LeDoux. If you missed the podcast episode interview I did with her about living a heart-led life be sure to check it out!
 
 
This practice is SO simple but so powerful. It goes like this:
 
Grab a sheet of paper and split it down the middle.
 
Label one side “I’m available for…” and label the other side, “I’m not available for...”.
 
You can make your lists one of two ways:


1. Brain-dump everything you are available for on one side and then move to the other side and brain-dump everything you are not available for.
OR
2. Bounce from one side to the other and make your way down the list.
 


It can be very powerful to read your list out loud. Seriously. Go to the bathroom mirror and read the list out loud to yourself. Watch this video to where I read mine aloud.
 
 
 
This was my list:
 

I am available for making wholehearted choices--wholehearted yeses and nos.

I am not available for making decisions out of obligation or pressure.

I am available for clear boundaries and firm deadlines.

I am not available for fixed rules that leave no room for my heart or spirit’s guidance.

I am available for honoring my own rhythms and cycles.

I am not available for playing by somebody else’s rules.

I am available for learning growing and expanding

I am not available for getting distracted by the next opportunity or thinking that I need something else before I start.

I am available for supporting people to live a heart-lead life.

I am not available for people who aren’t willing to take committed actions.

I am available for being supported.

I am not available for doing it all alone.

I am available for twists and turns that end up in magical unexpected places.

I am not available for spinning my wheels trying to figure it all out.

I am available for courageous leaps of faith.

I am not available for ignoring my heart.

 
 
I invite you to do this practice. Read it out loud to yourself and really FEEL the power of what you are, or are not, available for.
 
Share with me what shows up for you! Comment below or connect with me on social media. I always love to hear from you.

From the beginning, I held an intention in my heart with every Wildhearted retreat for people to have a real and undeniable experience of who they are at their true nature. I wanted people to experience tapping into the sacred place within themselves that would change everything. More than that, I wanted them to leave with tools that would allow them to return to that place over and over again.
 
As an unexpected side effect to the retreat experience, people have gotten really clear about what they want and give themselves permission to have it. They’ve had a taste of their true nature and they get that they are worthy and deserving. They realize it’s okay to let their heart want what it wants and to let their heart lead. So, they start doing that and, the next thing you know, they are ready to MOVE on a long-held passion or dream!
 
That’s how WildFire was born…it is a product of the natural progression of the wild heart expressed in the world. It is a dream made viable.
 
People leave retreat with this clarity and desire, BUT what they don’t have is the wherewithal to make it come alive.
 
It takes something to move an idea from conception to birth.
 
If you are just starting out and getting ready to move, there is a LOT of stuff to shed and new stuff to put in place. You have to develop new capacities, build new muscles and put structures in place.
 
 
I am not the same girl that I was when I first had the vision of leading retreats. My capacities have far exceeded what they were then.
But I didn’t do it on my own. 
I did it with support.
Someone who had gone where I wanted to go and was willing to reach back and hold my hand, encourage me, teach me very specific things--and it made all the difference for me.
 
We all need that…someone who can show us the way.
 
That is what WildFire gives you.
 
The purpose of WildFire is to get up under your passion or dream and provide you with:

  • mental and emotional shifts

  • clarity

  • structural foundation

  • support

All of which are necessary to bring your dream to life.
 
If you’re holding on to a dream that you are ready to birth into the world…then c’mon, c’mon, let’s play!
 
If not now, then…when? What are you waiting for?

Exploring Uncharted Territory with a Growth Mindset


Lately, I’ve been having a lot of conversation about what it means to explore uncharted territory.
 
I just wrapped up the first round of my online course Whole<3’d where we talked about this topic a lot. Anytime we make a commitment to following our heart you can guarantee you have to go into uncharted territory.
 
There’s a lot of conversation around this in WildFire as well. Bringing to life a passion, calling or the longing of your heart is a big, bold move and takes a lot of commitment. It involves entering uncharted territory.
 
There is an enormous amount of trust in life that is required if we want to step out in this way.
 
I’ve noticed two distinct ways in which people tend to look at life:
 
For some, life is viewed through a fixed mindset.
“I can do this. I can’t do that.”
“I get what I get.”
“I have to play the hand I’ve been dealt.”
And if you’re looking at life from this perspective there will be limits to what is possible for you.
 
Then there are those who view life with a growth mindset.
“I can take what I’ve been given and use it as a jumping off point.”
Possibility is endless when there is a willingness to engage and learn.
 
Ultimately, we have to believe that life is taking care of us.
Things are happening for us, not to us.

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TIFFANY BEDNAR
Introducing WildFire Coach, Tiffany Bednar

In my live launch of WildFire I mentioned I’ll be working with a real “fire-starter,” Tiffany Bednar. I want to share with you a bit about our journey together over the past year and what led us to collaborate in this new endeavor.
 
Making a choice to consciously expand my marketing efforts was BIG in my business. It felt like a very bold move and even a risk. But I was very clear that it was the next move for me in terms of becoming more visible and expanding my audience.
 
Just the other day, in a conversation with some colleagues of mine, I was sharing some of the marketing I’ve been doing and it really had me be present to the ground I’ve covered in the past year with Tiffany.
 
In that conversation, I suddenly became very aware of how I’ve learned to think like a marketer and expand my vision.
 
I’ve found it’s less about strategy and specific actions (although that’s a big part of it) and it’s really about thinking in a big-picture way and putting all these dots together to create something beyond what I had originally thought possible.
 
A year ago I couldn’t have thought of the ideas I think of now. The inspiration that strikes me, and the ease with which I can visualize and bring those ideas to life, is all new territory and has all come about in the last year of working with Tiffany.

It’s really been a game changer for my business.
 
Now I want you to hear from her. REALLY listen as she shares her story of transformation and the powerful conviction she has in standing for women in business. Open your heart to these passionate and powerful words from Tiffany Bednar.  

TIFFANY BEDNAR
Let Your Wild Heart Lead: RICH Revolution Series Podcast interview with Darla LeDoux

Today I am honored to share an interview I did with Darla LeDoux of Aligned Entrepreneurs about my journey into living a Wholehearted life, and how I bring that into my business and daily life. 

Darla is an inspiring entrepreneur who's mission is to support leaders in selling and delivering transformation, allowing them to use their natural, RICH (Right-brained, Intuitive, Connected and Heart-centered) skills. Her series, RICH Revolution speaks to this mission and I was lucky enough to be one of the leaders she interviewed. We discussed how I deliver transformation at my retreats, but also how you can live a life in alignment with your truth.

I am so excited to share the entire conversation with you, you can watch, listen, or read it here:

https://alignedentrepreneurs.com/ep-28-let-your-wild-heart-lead-with-ashlie-woods

TIFFANY BEDNAR
Guided Meditation: Turn Your Awareness On

Tap into your infinite power to create. This practice will invite you to take in the world around you and as you do, notice where your attention is being pulled. In our lives, each thing takes a small demand on our awareness, which, once tapped into, will allow us to let go of attachments and leave us feeling centered and invigorated. This practice is ideally done while standing.

TIFFANY BEDNAR
Today's Affirmation: Find the courage to tell the truth and watch your life transform.
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A trusted mentor once said to me …

“Notice what it feels like in your body when you tell the truth”

Tuning in to my body for guidance seemed like a radical idea. But it turned out to be the first step in my profound, personal transformation. And, the more I began to practice it, the more ready and willing I could feel the answers within my body.

Everything changed the moment I began trusting the wisdom within me.

I began truly listening to my heart and trusting where it desired to lead me.

This experience is what inspired me to create Whole<3’d: an online course designed to help you tune into what your heart is telling you so you can live the life that is calling you.

Find the courage to tell the truth and watch your life transform. Join me on the adventure to Whole<3’d living.

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Let it be. Your heart is so brave.

Not every day is a frolic through the lush green grass on a beautiful day.
Somedays it’s a swim in salt water during a storm while wearing steel boots.
 
AND you have tools for the storm. You don’t have to keep choking on the salt water.
 
A wholehearted life is a commitment to clarity and listening to your heart.
Not forcing a perfect life vision and bulldozing your way there.
 
I want to share with you a reminder that you have access to tools each and every day whether you have lush green grass, or salt water slapping your face. Take a moment now to STOP and go grab your calendar or notepad. 
 
Get settled. Take a deep breath.
 
As you sit here at the beginning of your week I want you to tap into three things that are important to you or that you value.
This could be being present with your family, prayer or meditation, taking care of your body, connecting with friends, playing with a new business idea….  Or maybe it’s love, peace, joy, strength, courage….
 
Whatever pops up just let it be and write it down in your calendar or notepad.
 
Now I want you to visualize yourself in those moments. Maybe you are at the gym or carving out times in your day to pray or meditate. Perhaps you need time to decompress between work and home to get present for the evening. I want you to since into 5 actions this week that would support your values and place them on your calendar. These actions should feel aligned with your values that you created.
 
Now, put them in your week. I want them to feel light and supportive.
 
As you take this on, you do have tools by simply being part of the Wildhearted community.
If you are new to meditation and it calls to you, you can commit to joining theSacred Circle Meditation Group from Wildhearted. I promise you, we all started somewhere, so just let it be. If you feel pulled to guided meditations join us on Insight Timer. However your meditation looks, it is perfectly fine.
 
Journaling is a powerful tool for gratitude and reflection. Maybe you are new to journaling so we have created prompts for you within our community blog.
 
Dance is another great way to work the body AND to shake off the day! It’s a great way to create presence and children love it too! Visit the Spotify profile to access a few fun dance lists and MOVE THAT BODY.    
 
If you crave connection with individuals committed to a joyful, wholehearted life, our Facebook page, Instagram page, YouTube and Twitter are all places we come together to circle up in uplifting conversations. Feel supported to play in any of these groups! 
 
If you want to dive into a dedicated community of people putting both feet in for a wholehearted life, perhaps the Wholehearted online course is meant for you.
 
Wherever you are, let it be. Tell your heart I hear you, I love you
 
 

TIFFANY BEDNAR
Micromoves Part 4

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I hope you took a moment to watch the short training video on the micro-moves spreadsheet and that you spent a little time prioritizing the items on your list. If you didn’t, please pause now and watch the training. It’s super valuable.

It’s helpful to see what needs to happen first. It can be a relief to acknowledge things I think I need to do and realize “that can wait”. This enables me to focus on the most important actions needed to move forward.

I invite you to look at the top 3 actions you can take to get you closer to the result you’re after.

Assess your upcoming week. Where do you have time and space to work on this? Be realistic and intentional about what actions you can take this week.

For example, if you know you have a big chunk of time on Wednesday afternoon, and you work well in the afternoons, schedule something then. Personally, I work really well in the mornings, after my morning routine and meditation when I am clear-headed and energetic. It’s a great time for me to work on tasks that require a lot of mental focus.

Look at your list of micro-moves. Look at your week. Choose 3 action items/micro-moves you can commit to doing this week. Circle them, put them in your calendar, scheduling with others and yourself as needed.

Be sure that you’re tied into the intention behind those moves. Most importantly, how are you going to feel when you get that thing done? Infuse each tiny action step with clear intention and high energy.

For me, one of my actions might be: reconcile my accounts. The intention: clarity. How I’ll feel when it’s done is: like a badass.

I hope this has been useful. I would love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments, or connect with me on social media... what are the 3 actions you’re taking, what’s the intention behind them, and how are you going to feel when those are done? I would love to celebrate with you!

TIFFANY BEDNARComment