MINDFULNESS

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"Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose,

in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

-Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

 

You can practice mindfulness - non-judgmental, present awareness - anywhere and at anytime, whether it be when you brush your teeth or are having a sensitive conversation with your boss at work or a loved one at home. This gentle awareness helps you make conscious choices rather than automatic reactions to what is happening around you.

 

Scientific studies join with many centuries of experience to support the benefits of mindfulness for your health and well-being.  These benefits include less stress and worry, better focus and concentration, improved general health, and less bias.

 

And you can cultivate mindfulness in a variety of ways:

  • Sitting meditation,
  • Moving meditation (such as walking meditation, yoga, or qigong), and
  • In your day to day interactions with others, in your daily routine (such as eating), and in your response to life circumstances.

Below are a few sample guided meditations:

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Breath Awareness Meditation (10 min.)

Breath awareness meditation allows us to focus our attention on the present moment, being aware of the sensations of each breath and using the breath as an anchor when the mind wanders - which it will inevitably do.  The practice helps us to better our concentration, activate the "rest and digest" response, and treat ourselves with greater kindness - gently returning our attention to the breath each time the mind strays.

Body Scan Meditation (15 min.)

Body scan meditations are a wonderful practice for reconnecting with our bodies, improving our ability to focus, and practicing the art of letting go as we move from one focus point to another.  While it is a favorite of many experienced meditators, because the focus of attention moves throughout the meditation it is an especially good practice for those who are relatively new to meditation.

Loving-Kindness Meditation (17 min.)

Through loving-kindness meditations we can create a kinder relationship with ourselves and with others.  This meditation involves phrases of well wishes for ourselves and for loved ones.  Longer loving-kindness meditations often extend these well wishes more broadly.

Additional resources are listed below to help you get started on your own mindfulness exploration.  More information will be added in the future so check back from time to time.

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
- Viktor Frankl

A Few Favorite Resources on Mindfulness

Here are a few of my favorite resources on mindfulness to help you begin and maintain your own practice.  Check in for updates and additional resources.

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BOOKS

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Kristen Neff, Ph.D.

Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom

Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Online Mindfulness Sites

Greater Good Science Center

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/

Mindful

www.mindful.org

Pocket Mindfulness

www.pocketmindfulness.com

Podcasts

10% Happier with Dan Harris

https://www.10percenthappier.com/podcast/

Bruce Langford's Mindfulness Mode Podcast

mindfulnessmode.com

For other wellness resources visit the Resources Page.

Testimonials

"Stephanie was an invaluable health and wellness coach for me.  She presented me with questions, resources, and homework that I found empowering and productive.  She is a great listener and synthesized my thoughts and feelings in a way that made things crystallize for me.  I realized how much control I have over my own life choices.  I am better at taking the time I need for myself so I can be a happier, healthier "me" which makes me a better mother, wife, and friend.  I am responsible for my own happiness and I feel like I have the tools to achieve it now.  Thank you Stephanie!" K.F.

"Stephanie was such a wonderful coach, and I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to work with her.  She frequently started our sessions with a short guided meditation that I found both calming and incredibly useful as we moved on to discussions about progress I had made and possible upcoming pitfalls.  I found working with Stephanie a really rewarding experience and one that I would highly recommend to others. She did a great job integrating physical, mental, and emotional health in helping me set goals for myself." M.H.

"Stephanie is a thoughtful coach, guiding with insightful pacing and placing caches of wisdom within reach.  She was faultlessly professional and generous.  I appreciated her patience, wisdom, warmth, and humor." Catherine

"I was able to spend 12 weeks working with Stephanie, and the Live Well Flow Coaching Program.  Stephanie started with discussing my mindset, determining my goals, and digging deep into the mindset around eating and wellness.  During the sessions with Stephanie, I was able to focus on determining deeper reasons behind eating, eating emotionally, and eating mindlessly.  We spent time meditating and I felt like I was finally able to hear what my body was telling me.  I feel better able to know when it is the right time to eat for my health, and when I need to pay attention to my feelings. We did three different mindfulness sessions, tasting food and really paying attention to what we are putting into our mouths.  For the first time (in a very long time) I actually tasted my food.  It has been life changing for me.  I have learned to slow down when eating, what to do to taste my food, and enjoy what I am eating-all without eating mindlessly.  

 
I was sad when our coaching agreement ended, I wish I could keep Stephanie in my pocket forever!"
 

Allyson Bathalon 

 
"Stephanie is a thoughtful, compassionate, and empathetic coach.  She has been direct and forthright, not allowing me to hide behind the excuses or "stories" as she aptly calls them, which I know don't serve me well.  She has shown a dedication and focused energy that has helped me to hone in on effective, practical ways to proceed - not simply with a job search, but with a real pathway forward in my life as a working mom.  I highly recommend her for any life, wellness, or job coaching needs you may have!" M.F.

Above all, Stephanie made me feel listened to. I’ve always had dreams, but they were wispy and cloudy, too varied to bring into focus. Stephanie guided me to clarify which dream most needed to take precedence, and then she helped me build habits that have allowed me to realize my visions. She did this all while listening so carefully it shocked me at times, always making me feel like what I said was important. She did not diminish any of my concerns. She listened to the realities of my situation, and helped me determine which obstacles were only perceived, which were legitimate, and which needed to be honored. By holding up a mirror to me in important moments, she helped me set priorities.

 

Her professionalism is unparalleled, and her way of looking at systems gave me a different lens through which to examine various dynamics.

 

Nothing seemed to faze her—I asked for guidance on a contract at work, my family-work balance, and time-management. She was masterful at determining and wading through details.  

 

Now, many months after setting my priorities, my entire perspective of my life has shifted, and I am enormously grateful for Stephanie’s presence on my journey.

 

Heather

"Stephanie was my coach during a challenging life transition to self-employment. She has a wonderful ability to actively listen, summarize your thoughts, and ask reflective questions that help you stay focused and get at the real issue - all while giving you the nurturing support you need. I highly recommend Stephanie Lewis to anyone wanting to move forward in life to a better version of themselves!"  Janice

"Stephanie's meditation sessions combine thoughtful discussions of a variety of mindfulness activities with a guided meditation that uses that day's approach. I both enjoy these sessions and learn more about ways I can address stress in my life.  

Her patience with, and support of, our efforts to create a practice reinforces the importance of being kind to ourselves.  I find these sessions an oasis of claim in an otherwise stressful world.  Thank you, Stephanie!"  Sherry

"I owe Stephanie and her meditation classes so much.  They are providing me with the tools to manage myself, my experiences, my expectations, and my life.  I didn't realize before I began learning mindfulness techniques how much they would touch my life."  Elise

"Stephanie has an excellent workshop facilitation style with good pacing.  She encourages participation and doesn't overtalk, allowing silence and reflection between points.  She does a great job of selecting and editing content and mixing talking, activity, and partner sharing.  She also curates excellent workshop topics and resource persons."  Rebecca