Mindfulness Explorations

Mindful Communication and comprehension

Coming into conversations with all of our past experiences, communication often becomes a mechanical process, and comprehension can be superficial at best. This is where mindfulness steps in as a powerful catalyst, transforming communication into a richer, more meaningful exchange. By being fully present in the moment, we open the door to a deeper understanding of both ourselves and others. Let’s explore the significance of mindfulness in communication and comprehension, and how cultivating this practice can positively impact our interactions.


Communication is not just about words; it's about the energy, emotions, and intentions behind them. Mindfulness in communication involves being fully present, both physically and mentally, during conversations. When we are not fully present, we risk missing valuable cues and nuances that shape the true nature of reality. To communicate mindfully, it's crucial to momentarily set aside distractions, preconceived notions, and internal chatter to engage in a more profound exchange.


The first step in practicing mindful communication is to consciously ground yourself in the present moment. This can be achieved through a variety of techniques, such as deep breaths or a brief moment of meditation. By taking a second to redirect your attention away from external distractions and internal thoughts, you create a mental space where genuine communication can thrive. This intentional pause allows you to approach conversations with a clear mind, ready to listen and respond with empathy.


Next we move to compending what the other person is saying. Mindful communication extends beyond simply hearing words; it involves actively listening with the intent to understand. When you listen with understanding, you not only hear the words spoken but also tune into the emotions, nuances, and unspoken messages. This level of attentive listening fosters a deeper connection, creating an environment where both parties feel heard and valued. It requires patience, empathy, and a genuine curiosity to comprehend the full spectrum of what is being communicated.


The Benefits of Mindful Communication:



Incorporating mindfulness into your communication style is not just a personal development tool but a powerful way to enrich your relationships and interactions.In doing so, you unlock the potential for profound connections, enhanced problem-solving, and a more harmonious engagement with the world around you.

Wellness check: How is your mental health?

Let’s check in. 

Deep Breath. Inhale. Exhale.

Do not take that lightly. Breathing deeply every once in a while throughout the day. Sometimes realizing, you haven’t really taken a breath all day.

So really. Deep Breath. Inhale. Exhale.

One in five women struggle with some sort of mental health conditions. The most common being depression and anxiety. Know that having a mental health condition does not make you inadequate in any way. Trauma is an added layer to any mental health condition and can also inflate symptoms similar to ADHD, Autism, and many other neurodivergent conditions. Which in turn makes it difficult for people to discern what is happening in order to seek treatment. Oftentimes getting the wrong treatment for long periods of time, spending time and resources. This can be flat out exhausting. In any combination, all this adds up, makes us completely insecure, feeling like we are always struggling, and not fully grasping life. 

Now the full swing happens…depression + anxiety and anything else that comes up. It’s ok to accept that as part of the human experience. Unlearning and challenging your growth will come with a cost, your time, energy, trust in yourself, and giving up attachments.

There’s different levels to healing: mental, emotional, body, and spiritual. Each has its own treatment plan and all will bring up other layers you may not be aware of at the time. But healing all through the process is the goal. You can choose not to work all the way through, but you will only get so far.

There is an analogy I heard by Loch Kelly. We go about life and through experiences we pick up thorns that get stuck on us. As we go, we can either, A) Build a life around NOT touching the thorns. Teaching others on how not to touch the thorn. Because the pain is too much and we do not want anyone to touch it. Or B) We can start the process of painfully removing the thorn. It takes time and is not pleasant, but once the thorn is removed, we are able to move about life more freely. Without fear of the pain the thorn causes and not having to void or stay in limits to avoid the thorn being touched.

That is where you choose. The journey is not pleasant, but through the process you gain freedom of the thoughts, experiences, and feelings that we carry as weight we use to define ourselves. But what we forget is, all of those thoughts, experiences, and feelings are not US. They are not WHO we are. It goes with the wind and is gone when the moment passes. We rewind the thoughts, experiences, and feelings again and again. A loop of suffering that we relate to our everyday lives. The thorns.

You will consistently be challenged on this journey to healing your trauma, treating your mental health, all while working with other health or life challenges. It will not be easy, but it can be done. Honestly, it has to be done. We have the right to unburden ourselves. To evolve. Heal, connect, and support each other.

Talking about mental health has become a new wave that I love riding. There’s so much wrapped up in being a woman while addressing our health concerns. Whatever your combination is, you have a right to be here. You are valid, you are heard, you are believed, and wish you well on your journey. Here, I will lay out as much advice that I can offer, take what you need, as you need. Connect, share, and expand as a part of the community. There is an activity, recommendations, and links below to start your healing process or build on the practices you already have.

Why your affirmations aren’t working: Make them for you.

Long ago, I tried to do the affirmation thing and get my mind right. I felt like it didn’t work.

I am blah blah, I can blah blah, I will blah blah, Blah blah blah.

Why am I doing this?

It does nothing. Or does it?

I learned recently it’s more about you. Less about the words. You need to speak to those parts of yourself that are struggling. Speaking to your inner self. Specifically for you.

Don’t Google affirmations, find them online somewhere and try to make yourself feel like that’s what you need.

What you are looking for is healing those parts that are hurting. Those are the parts that speak the loudest when you're struggling. Those are the parts that make you feel like you can’t.

But that’s not true. Don’t let that negative sorry hold the narrative for the rest of your day, week, month…..life. It sometimes only feels like that moment or time, but when you really look at the effects, if it happens whenever you try to move forward daily, everyday you stay the same. Everyday you lose the opportunity to see yourself move forward. Adding up to years that end up passing you by.

Find your pain point then speak directly to that point.

Try this……

Pain point: 

Struggling to stay consistent.

Affirmation:

We are now speaking directly to the parts that are struggling. You are letting yourself know that you deserve it.

The next thing that was tremendously helpful, I recorded myself saying my affirmations with love to myself.

I can listen to these affirmations in my own voice, speaking directly into my higher self. To me, from me. Only me. That connected me to my affirmations.

It went from just words….. to love, healing, and inspiration being poured into me.

Be gentle. Be kind. Give yourself grace. Rest.

How I stayed in alignment: Knowing when to pivot.

I wanted to be a doctor, then this…then that, but then none of that is what I wanted to do by the time I got a point to start working on my career. Throughout the years, I ended up discovering that even if you plan out your life to the T, something can come up that changes the situation into something you never expected.

Along the way, I figured that out the hard way. Always grieving the stage I was in or the circumstances that led me there. Out of that grief and years later, I am doing exactly what I want to do. Well, almost. 

But I am a lot closer to my true purpose and further away from what no longer serves me.

The wisdom I found was much deeper than I expected.

The singular, one sided way to approach my career, wasn’t the way. Choosing a specific role, position, or company, held the expectation that if it fell through, I lost everything I worked for. But it was the complete opposite. I gained insight into what I really desired and how that could look for me.

So instead of focusing on the specifics, what could be my focus?

Here. My values, passions, and where I feel purpose.

There were the key motivators. This is my outline to life. 

Making moves, keeping those as my focus. I can create an opportunity for me to have flexible time off to track and be with my family. I can make sure that my income, investments, and assets give me financial freedom. In doing that, the opportunity would entail me inspiring others to have a voice, and USE IT.

Now all the specifics come as I go. I can pivot, change, adjust, adapt to anything that comes my way. Or if I just feel that where I am isn’t fully meeting those key components, I can adjust without pressure.

So that job isn’t the end all be all. That degree that didn’t work out, doesn’t matter. A role is not what I expected, so what. It can change. My specifics are always building me up to my big picture, the big picture is always going to be created or met, as long as I stick to my key motivators.

In 10 years, I could want a change in roles or responsibilities. A life changing event could happen. Anything can change but at the core, it’s all still coming together.

Living in Gratitude While Giving Grace.

The greatest joy I am realizing is that life can move on, while I heal, and also be excited about what is happening. One situation, experience, or feeling doesn't have to be exclusive to my overall experience. That I can be excited about a new position, nervous about a new project, and sad about a family issue, all at the same time. I am able to keep practicing that grace and living in the present. All of it is a part of life, and one doesn't have to overrule the other in order to cancel out the negative feelings with positive ones, or labeling any of it all together. Sitting with it rather than dwelling on it or staying with the story that comes with it.

It brings along a sense of peace in being present and living a full life. I am enough. I am capable of living this full experience of life.

As I journey along the path of mindfulness, I notice that life has this beautiful ability to continue moving forward. It's a revelation that has brought me great joy, it signifies that we can be excited about the new and the unknown, while also acknowledging our fears and sorrows without judgment. Sitting with the uncomfortable parts of life or emotions, without trying to fix or resolve them. Letting them exist and pass as life does.

This is the essence of living in gratitude and giving grace. It's about recognizing that all these emotions and experiences coexist, and none of them have to take precedence over the others. We don't need to overshadow our negative emotions with a blanket of positivity or suppress them with labels. Instead, we can embrace the full spectrum of life's experiences, sitting with each feeling as it comes, without getting entangled in the stories that often accompany them.

In this practice, I've found a profound sense of peace. It's a peace that comes from being fully present in the moment, from accepting myself for who I am, with all my emotions and experiences. I've come to understand that I am enough just as I am. I am capable of living a full and meaningful life, even when it feels like a whirlwind of emotions is swirling around me.

Journal Prompt: What are your moments of gratitude with your equal moments of grace?


Mental Health Matters: The Importance of Healing

What is it about this place,

Beautiful masquerade

Dancing to destruction

Turning both cheeks and blind eyes,

What is it about this place,

Haunting us to leave it,

Or is it us,

And what we have created,

What is it about this place that makes us leave it so soon?


I wrote this in May of 2022 when I heard about two of my former high school classmates completing suicide within a few months apart. At the time of hearing this devastating news, I thought "I am so glad I moved away from Nebraska and landed in a place (Texas) where I can grow and have community." But that didn't solve my challenges with my mental health. Then more heartbreak, a well known and loved community member went through the same tragedy. That's when it hit the pit of my stomach, it was near and something I really needed to address, because new things were not the solution.


During this journey, I have been called to be more open. Be more present and talking openly to guide others' into their own healing journey. My passion and purpose lie in educating you during your healing journey.


It’s important as a community that mental health is taken more seriously.


One in five women struggle with some sort of mental health condition. The most common being depression and anxiety. Know that having a mental health condition does not make you inadequate in any way. Trauma is an added layer to any mental health condition and can also inflate symptoms similar to ADHD, Autism, and many other neurodivergent conditions. Which in turn makes it difficult for people to discern what is happening in order to seek treatment. Oftentimes getting the wrong treatment for long periods, spending time and resources. This can be flat out exhausting. In any combination, all this adds up, makes us completely insecure, feeling like we are always struggling, and not fully grasping life. 


Mental health and trauma as a teenager structured a negative perception of the world. That led to bouts of depression and in my early 20’s I chose to find another way to live. How can I be better? I wanted to be better and I was willing to do whatever it took to get there. Get to the other side of healing. It was challenging in every aspect of self and being. That meant being open and vulnerable, asking others for help and knowing that there was work that I needed to do, but that I was able to have support. 


So it’s important for us to understand what is going on, being willing to act on a healthy strategy and implementing strategies consciously. It's definitely easier said than done because that comes from a very conscious and some people say logical perspective. When in reality being human is an emotional being with thoughts, not a thoughtful being with feelings. So start by understanding that the human experience in this life is to experience the full range and spectrum of emotions. The trick here is not to be attached to the feeling. It’s ok to accept feelings as just parts of the human experience. We drive ourselves into a struggle with the notion that we SHOULD not feel that way. Or letting the emotions drive those thoughts into our daily lives, building around those emotions a prescription of ourselves and the world. It drives you deeper into a spiral. That’s the simplified version but all in all, it is an accumulation of experiences throughout the timeline, events that we see as defining us, trauma, everything brings you to who you are now. The battles you fight within yourself because of all that piled up.


Unlearning and challenging your growth will come with a cost, your time, energy, trust in yourself, and giving up attachments.


There’s different levels to healing: mental, emotional, body, and spiritual. Each has its own treatment plan and all will bring up other layers you may not be aware of at the time. But healing all through the process is the goal. You can choose not to work all the way through, but you will only get so far.


There is an analogy I heard by Loch Kelly. We go about life and through experiences we pick up thorns that get stuck on us. As we go, we can either, A) Build a life around NOT touching the thorns. Teaching others on how not to touch the thorn. Because the pain is too much and we do not want anyone to touch it. Or B) We can start the process of painfully removing the thorn. It takes time and is not pleasant, but once the thorn is removed, we are able to move about life more freely. Without fear of the pain the thorn causes and not having to void or stay in limits to avoid the thorn being touched.


That is where you choose. The journey is not pleasant, but through the process you gain freedom of the thoughts, experiences, and feelings that we carry as weight we use to define ourselves. But what we forget is, all of those thoughts, experiences, and feelings are not US. They are not WHO we are. It goes with the wind and is gone when the moment passes. We rewind the thoughts, experiences, and feelings again and again. A loop of suffering that we relate to our everyday lives. The thorns.


You will consistently be challenged on this journey to healing your trauma, treating your mental health, all while working with other health or life challenges. It will not be easy, but it can be done. Honestly, it has to be done. We have the right to unburden ourselves. To evolve. Heal, connect, and support each other.


Whatever your challenge is, you have a right to be here. You are valid, you are heard, you are believed, and wish you well on your journey. 


By talking about it. Being a resource, a hand, a shoulder, a guide for you to start or continue your healing journey. This is not the end, but this could be the start of something amazing.