With all that is going on in America and around the world, from our personal lives to the work in pushing for racial justice, taking the extra step of self-care is ever present. There are all kinds of ways to bring more joy, to take a break from the stress and to overall give oneself that one on one moment that we don’t always think of. One of these ways that has come to my attention is mindfulness.
Mindfulness is an act derived from the meditation practices within Buddhism and enables a person to be in a constant of self-reflection.
“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.”
– Greater Good Magazine
Its popularity from decades ago is due to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Meditation is used in the process of mindfulness to enable for state of mind to act in such a manner. As explained by the well-being company, Headspace, “meditation is the training ground for learning mindfulness. At first, we meditate to become familiar with the here and now for a limited period of time. Over time, however, regularly practicing mindfulness helps us develop the ability to be present throughout the day, every day.”
Powerful women in business and entertainment have shared how mindfulness and meditation has had a positive impact on them and the people around them. In 2017, Forbes reported:
“Oprah Winfrey claims that it makes her 1000% better. CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien says that it’s life-changing. Jane Fonda said it’s one of her secrets to aging gracefully. Arianna Huffington says it played a huge part in her success. Jennifer Aniston said that it’s changed everything. All of these incredibly successful women are talking about one thing. Meditation…Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Cisco Systems said that 20 minute meditations each evening helps to ease stress. Warrior was named by Forbes as one of the top 100 most powerful women in the world.”
Oprah Winfrey went a step forward by including meditation to help employees at her company, telling Forbes, “people who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic.”
As we continue to push for a better world, and we continue to evolve individually as well as a society, being able to be deliberate in our actions and having a better understanding of our state mind is essential. The use of mindfulness might just be the way to help support us in our journeys.
1] “Mindfulness|Defined,” Greater Good Magazine, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition.
 “What is Mindfulness,” Headspace, accessed August 26, 2020, https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness.
 Sarah Boyd, “Why Powerful Women Lean on Meditation,” Forbes, November 25, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/sboyd/2017/11/25/why-powerful-women-lean-on-meditation/#337e71963bf2.