How Mindfulness Helps Me Be My Best Self
Through a series of serendipitous events, I was first introduced to the concept of mindfulness in 2017. In many ways, I was late to the game. After all, mindfulness has been practiced for thousands of years through meditation, prayer and movement. That said, I came across Shauna Shapiro’s TED Talk — all about the power of mindfulness — and her inspirational and aspirational speech changed my life. Using a combination of modern-day neuroscience and ancient wisdom, Dr. Shapiro profoundly demonstrated how mindfulness can help anyone make positive changes to his or her entire well-being.
Needless to say, her TED talk encouraged me to dive deeper. In my research, I found Dan Harris’s book, 10% Happier, which reassured me that a mindfulness practice can be developed by anyone, anywhere. Through his storytelling, Dan recounts how meditation brought new perspective to his life. Since beginning a meditation and mindfulness practice, he’s been able to live a more compassion-filled and fulfilling life. I, too, found that once I started a daily mindfulness practice, my own temperament changed for the better, thus improving the quality of my life.
Starting a Mindfulness Routine
With resources in my back pocket — from Dr. Shaprio’s TED Talk to meditation and journaling apps like Headspace, Calm and Journey — I embarked on incorporating a mindfulness routine. In the very least, I had high hopes that it would reduce stress, improve concentration and give me the courage to pursue my passions. At the time, though, my only mindfulness practice was on my yoga mat.
A few times each week, I would attend power vinyasa yoga classes as a form of meditation and movement. Coupled with the documentaries, books, podcasts and the aforementioned apps, these classes became the foundation of my mindfulness routine. To this day, the power of movement with breath — as learned on my yoga mat — still carries me through stressful moments in my day-to-day life.
However, initially sticking to a daily mindfulness routine was difficult. I found myself making excuses, i.e., “I don’t have time to meditate” or “I should be answering emails instead of journaling in the morning.” Over time, these excuses became old. Tired of my foolish excuses, I began re-framing my thoughts. Rather than succumbing to my excuses, I learned to re-prioritize. I put my own happiness and well-being at the top of my to-do list, which meant that inevitably my mindfulness routine became a priority.
Meditation, Journaling and CBD
As part of my new self-care routine, I started meditating, journaling, and using CBD every morning. It meant setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier, but I also started going to bed earlier, too. Within a couple of weeks, my new system proved to be worth it. While establishing these habits were the hardest part, I eventually found myself craving the earlier bedtime, earlier rising time and most of all, the stillness.
Although it has been a few years since I started this regimen, I still make time for my mindful morning routine. I light palo santo, put a few drops of a CBD tincture under my tongue, then meditate for 10 minutes. Afterward, I briefly journal on whatever thoughts, fears or excitement came up during my meditation practice. I find that starting my day this way sets a productive, composed tone. And since I started this routine, I have noticed I am more grounded and present — regardless of what the day brings. For many reasons, starting my day with CBD is a must. If I don’t use it sublingually, I add a few drops to my morning tea or smoothie. Overall, it’s an important part of my mindfulness routine.
Practicing Self-Care Through Mindfulness
When it comes to living a happier, healthier life, a small amount of mindfulness goes a long way. In other words, it takes neither a lot of time nor spending your entire paycheck to establish a mindfulness practice. Whether it be taking a bath and lighting candles at the end of a long day, scheduling a beauty service on a Sunday afternoon or taking an extra hour to mindfully prepare healthy food, there are many actionable ways to make self-care the focal point. And because prioritizing self-care is the gateway to living your best life, not only will your mental, physical and spiritual well-being benefit, but your relationships and life experiences will flourish as well.
Edie Horstman is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, wellness blogger and freelance writer. She works with health-focused brands, co-creating content in the digital marketing space. She lives in Denver, Colorado.