The theme for our June 2, 2021 Moment to Moment Mindfulness Discussion (M2M) session was using body awareness to bring mindfulness to the present moment. Coming to presence is enough to make a difference in the way you act in the world and are perceived by others, and work is a challenging place to practice mindful awareness. We choose to take on the challenge because mindful awareness enhances our ability to perform optimally, and using the body as an object of mindfulness is the primary way to cultivate moment to moment awareness at work, at home, or anywhere. It also provides opportunities to cut through habitual behaviors and to differentiate between thinking about experience and instead being in the experience itself.
You get to see the difference between thoughts and feelings, and you cultivate awareness of the subtle movement of energy in the body - using it for focus, relaxation, healing. Sensing the body, you gain a fresh perspective. Being with sensations you can fully experience presence. Knowing the sensations, brings insight and wisdom.
How to Work with the Body
- Feel the sensation of the weight of your body against chair if you're sitting, or your feet against the ground if you are standing or walking.
- Notice the movement from feeling to thinking (labeling, commenting, etc.) and come back to the feeling.
- Shift your attention to the sensations of your breathing. The rising and falling of your chest or abdomen.
- Again, if you shift into thinking about anything, gently but firmly bring attention to the sensations.
- Feel what it is like to be present.
- Again, if your slip into thinking about what you are feeling, come back to sensations, to presence.
Do this for a few brief moments throughout the day.
Less than thirty seconds, three natural breaths will do.
Set an alarm or use the phone or ping to signal your body awareness break.
Practice this when you realize that your attention has slipped away from the content while at a meeting, while reading, writing, or doing anything. Coming back to sensations when distracted cultivates focus, concentration. The more you practice the less you will slip away into unplanned mental side-trips and the shorter your side-trips will be.
If you want to accelerate the process of becoming increasingly present and aware, do the exercise as a formal meditation in a quiet place where you are unlikely to be interrupted for anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes at a time.
Come to our M2M group discussions (every other week) to have your questions explored, and to better enable you to apply mindful awareness in your life, at work or anywhere.
George Pitagorsky’s mission is to guide people to create healthy, happy, and highly effective teams, organizations, and communities. He has decades of experience as a globally recognized project, program and process management expert, teacher, and technology executive. His experience includes six years as CIO for a multi-billion-dollar government agency, and as a principle in a technology start-up. As Director of Program Development George brings over ten years of experience in that role for an international learning organization.