Take a Break – Stop and See!

DSC04298Take a Break – Stop and See!

Really looking at what is around and within you is a good addition to your mindfulness practice. Each time you practice you strengthen your mindful brain! And, like playing the piano, being mindful takes practice. That’s the sort-of-bad news.

The good news is twofold:

  1. I’ve never left a mindfulness practice feeling worse for the experience. Most people report some immediate benefit from a mindfulness session. It is hard not to get a feeling of relaxation from 20, 30 or 40 minutes of a time dedicated entirely to you where you simply actively notice what is present.

There is a freedom in the gift that your time spent in mindfulness practice grants you – freedom to say ‘no’ to everything else and ‘yes’ to giving everything you discover.

2. The benefits of practicing accumulate over time. Some benefits are more immediate, like the feeling of relaxation. Some take place over a few weeks – like empathy or pain relief, which are reported to be enhanced in just 7-8 weeks of 30 minute daily practice. Addtionally, these effects can last a long time. That’s because your practice makes changes in your brain structure that are related to focus, empathy, self and other compassion, etc. and these changes stick with you. Even a little practice helps to maintain these gains.

Stop and See

In his article, The Stop and See Method, Elad Levinson describes how to stop and tune in to body, mind activity, emotions while in the workplace can open the door to creativity. By checking out qualities like: color or temperature or a metaphorical positioning: if the mind or emotion is like a river, is it rushing, peaceful, swirling, etc.?

By stopping our usual auto-pilot, unconscious and habitual flow and using a method like watching the breath or Levinson’s other suggestions, we can learn to take a step back to become witness to our experience.

This breaks the trance of storytelling our mind naturally engages in and opens the door for creativity. If nothing else, we get to rest the parts we are habitually engaging.

As Levinson says:

 “At the heart of any creative conundrum, there is a respite, just like the eye of the tornado. Smart, fresh, unedited ideas stem from finding this peace.”

Contact me to learn more about taking mindfulness training classes to get you started. Enjoy


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