Mindfulness has become more than just a buzzword in 2015; it has become a way of life to be mindful. If mindfulness is a new concept, I invite you to learn more starting with Google searching mindful. In approximately 0.24 seconds you will have a search result over 32.7 million hits. Where do you begin with an overwhelming search result? First, I recommend refining your search to a specific topic of mindfulness you want to learn about. For example, I narrowed my search to mindful leadership.
What is mindful leadership and how will a body scan make you become more successful?
The Institute for Mindful Leadership defines a mindful leader as a person who “embodies leadership presence by cultivating focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion in the service of others. Leadership presence is a tangible quality. It requires full and complete nonjudgmental attention in the present moment. Those around a mindful leader see and feel that presence.” Remember that thoughts are not orders, feelings are not fact, and your emotions are not you.
The body scan is a powerful meditation technique that tune’s individuals into the body while systematically and intentionally moving your attention throughout the body observing each feeling and sensation with a non-judgmental and observing mind. This exercise can be done at your desk while in the heat of the chaos in your work environment. Experientially, you are creating more awareness and listening to what your body is telling you.
I am inviting you to take a moment and try engaging yourself into a body scan exercise. So get into a comfortable position with both feet on the ground, your hands resting on the tops of your thighs, your neck relaxed (not too relaxed), and sitting upright with your back straight. And with a few deep in breaths feel the cold air enter your body, down into your lungs. As you reach the peak of the in breath begin to release the breath and now start to feel the air changing temperatures. From a cool touch of air, the air now has a little warmth to it as it touches your teeth and enters back into the external environment. Try this few more times until you begin feeling more relaxed.
As you finish that last exhale continue to keep the same rhythm of in breaths and out breaths and focus your attention to your toes. For each are of the body you will want to bring your complete focus and awareness to that location. Do this throughout your entire body, starting with the lowest part (your toes) and end at the highest part (your head). Bring your attention to your bones, skin, organs, sensations, and another area you want to work on.
In 2005, John Kabat-Zen describes in his book, Coming to Our Senses (2005), the physical sensations, emotional reactions, and thoughts that may occur when engaged in a body scan exercise.
My challenge to you is try a body scan exercise and let me know the results. Will you try it again or move onto something else. If it worked for me, it may work for you!
Please post your results on my blog post!