Mindfulness & Redefining Productivity

Do more with less effort, what a concept.

Here’s the how of doing more with less effort: it starts with mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness is so important to thrive in a way that lets us connect to how we feel. Once we figure out how we’re feeling, we can act upon it or according to it.

Mindfulness is achieved by slowing down. Slowing down will let us do so much more without the kind of tension that builds when we’re caught up in the chaos of reaching a goal. Goal setting is great, but when we’re not mindful of the process to reach that goal the tension builds and nothing external is nourished. The idea of the external that needs to be nourished includes our bodies, environment and relationships.

Slowing down isn’t an action a college student wants to hear they should be doing. I am unbearably guilty of easily acting mindlessly. It took a couple of serious health complications and unpleasant personal struggles for me to realize I needed to slow down.

Productivity and success aren’t measured by how much I can take on. Stress shouldn’t be romanticized, it’s inflammatory. I don’t eat foods that are inflammatory, so why did I think it was okay to make a space for myself where my environment was just as toxic?

If you don’t think you can relate to the approach of being a better version of yourself at a less tense pace, I highly suggest you read up on stress levels in pasture-raised hens and eggs. I just read Farmacology by Daphne Miller and something serious clicked about the purpose of community support and the output of my energy.

So, I’ve been watching MBG’s Revitalize online this weekend and of the many talks that inspired me, I want to share something from Dr. Samantha Boardman:

Happiness isn’t a solo event. It’s what happens when we connect and support the people around us.

The reciprocation of a support and connect model makes me feel like I’m floating. I love guiding stråla classes because it gives me this feeling, I am so happy after guiding a class it’s ridiculous. So, I’m trying to apply this approach of interacting with others into life outside the studio.

Becoming a stråla yoga guide has burned it into my brain that how I am with myself is how I am with others. So while I can support and connect to everyone around me and feel so happy, I also have to connect to how I feel and support those feelings.

When we’re so focused on doing the most amount of work at maxium effort to push past limits, it’s pretty tough to be mindful. This was me for a long time, isolating myself for the most output. I wasn’t mindful of who I gave my time to and there are quite a few relationships I wish I could mend because I was too busy.

We’re never too busy, there’s always time to create space for yourself and others if we’re mindful of the process. Try slowing down and being more mindful at some point this week, it won’t hurt.

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