Last year I made the conscious decision to live with greater mindfulness, to not only focus on what I strive to achieve but to also appreciate what I already have.
I was on holiday recently, pottering in the shops which is a luxury for me these days with the juggle of motherhood and running a business, I stumbled across a book called the The Little Book of Mindfulness. I took it as a sign…like any working mother I felt like a mouse running around a never-ending wheel. Hurrying my children along to get dressed, to do their teeth, to get their shoes on whilst making lunches, packing bags, tidying up behind them all the while chasing them out the door so as not to be late…
Although appreciative of the luxury to work around my children I felt as though the weeks were passing me by and I wasn’t taking the time to reflect on the small things that I was truly grateful for, my focus was on what I wanted to achieve and I had forgotten to be grateful for what I already had…to appreciate the small things that matter. A quote from my newly acquired book `these little moments are the true wonders of being alive. These glimpses of joy really matter, because they connect us to life rather than split us from it’ Dr Patrizia Collard
I’m giving myself the gift of learning to live in the moment a little bit more…I’ve learnt it doesn’t come naturally, it’s very easy to go through the day without acknowledgement if I don’t make the time.
Finding greater mindfulness to me is not about chanting mantras or meditating in the traditional sense, it’s simply about giving myself permission to appreciate life and be grateful…to do this I take time out for myself and the best way for me to achieve this is to go for a run, just my dog and I.
I’ve found that by implementing greater mindfulness into my everyday life enriches not only my mind but also my body and soul. I don’t profess to be an expect and do not practise in this field, this is simply what I do and how I’ve been able to achieve greater mindfulness…
Find a quiet place.
Sit, stand or run (whichever feels most natural) in silence and pause the thoughts that are rushing through your head. Focus your mind on the present moment.
Take a deep breath and relax.
Be aware of your surroundings to reduce distractions and remove yourself from your own busyness.
Recognize all the things around you, take time to reflect on everything in your life that is good, those things that you may take for granted and be thankful, be appreciative, be grateful.
For me running is simply an opportunity to take time out for myself, to remove myself temporarily from my mummy and work duties; away from the chime of my phone, the little hands that reach out to me, the voices that want my attention. It provides the chance to clear my mind, to reflect, to create clarity in my thoughts and feelings…I feel energised and calm, I return with a spring in my step and a smile on my face, I’m ready to make the most of another day.
Susan Stevens is the founder of New Zealand-based Meme & Co, a jewelry and accessories company with an innovative, woman-centered business model. She has over 18 years experience in sales, marketing and advertising, she climbed the corporate ladder and was committed to her career but her priorities changed when she had her children. Life became a struggle, trying to find a balance between wanting to retain her worth and independence in the workforce without compromising her ability to be a present and attentive mother.
Then, Susan made a terrifying leap – leaving a six figure income to no job and a big mortgage. With a very strong resolve never to go back to the corporate world, and through commitment, perseverance and a passion to succeed, she found as one door closed other doors opened. It was this journey that gave her the motivation and the drive to create an opportunity for other women who want to be in control, who value their independence, who want to be empowered. Her drive to keep a balance between work and family life ultimately resulted in `taking a leap’ into the unknown and embarking on a personal journey of self reflection, new challenges and growth.