My sister Zoe is a mindfulness and meditation guide. I mean, she helps people do nothing.
That’s a job.
Her main clients are busy, successful executive types.
Mindfulness can be challenge for chronic over-doers, and for those with ADD. Their minds are already so FULL, it is hard to follow their thoughts, and be present in the moment.
One trick that is helpful for these folks (erm, me) is the Brain Dump.
A Brain Dump is when you take everything you have swimming around in your head, that you think you HAVE to hang on to, mentally and GET IT ALL OUT.
Write and write and write.
According to Wikipedia, (who we REALLY SHOULD give a toonie to every once in a while, eh?), a brain dump is “the transfer of a large quantity of information from one person to another or to a storage and retrieval medium.”
In this case, I mean to a storage or retrieval medium.
Like your journal or your laptop or your fancy phablet.
Write out everything that might take up your mental space.
Check in to see if you still feel like you have things to hang onto, write that, and then make sure you keep all of what you’ve written.
Now, you can have the enjoyment of crossing things off. And until then, you have a reference place.
It can be such a load off.
All you do is
- WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THAT COMES TO MIND
Here, I am about to practice and instruct in the art of the brain dump.
I will be brain dumping everything that I think I Cannot Forget or need to remember about Mindfulness for an upcoming blog post.
Except now, this is that blog post! I love it when doing nothing is productive. HA!
What happened is that I took my brain dump, and I organized the ideas.
I already jumped ahead to step 2, which is COMPLETELY optional:
2. ORGANIZE IT
So here are my organized thoughts
One thing/Dr. Rick Hanson, Mindfulness-based stress reduction program from Jon Kabat-Zinn, Lifehacker’s Guide to Meditation for the Rest of Us, Greater Good’s mindfulness webpage: education, videos, & resources
Good articles to read/listen:
■ UCLA Meditation podcast, “5 Reasons You Should Start Meditating Today”
■ Self-Talk Plus recordings to program your subconscious in a mindful, purposeful way
■ Greater Good’s Mindfulness Quiz
Good books to read:
- Meditation for Beginners, by Jack Kornfield
- Buddha in Blue Jeans, by Tai Sheridan
- The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Wherever you go, there you are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- 10% Happier, by Dan Harris
- There is No App for Happiness, by Max Strom
- When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron
A different approach
Another way to approach mindfulness is to check out forest bathing. It’s like an easy hike, no, a walk in the woods, but way, way slower, more contemplative, more tuned-in, deeper.
Good Meditation Apps (Post Script: what was the result of word association had an unintended hilarious result, ha!)
Fun and intuitive to use and very well known. Good variety of free and paid guided meditations for beginners and beyond.
Great if you are not into “woo-woo” stuff. This is a no BS kind of app, no extra stuff, but guided meditations. I love a good toothbrushing meditation, yes I do. This is kind of the app version of the book 10% Happier – they are both “for fidgety skeptics”
Guided meditations, Energy, health, sleep, a bit more for those sensitive to their “fields”.
■Mindfulness Training App
Great for beginners but gives science and context too for those who want it.
Teachings from popular mindfulness instructors Jon Kabat-Zinn and Jack Kornfield.
If you like outdoor sounds, you may like this one, go check it out. Free download, paid subscription. I didn’t pay, so I can’t say much more.
■ Stop, Breathe & Think
Recommends specific meditations based on your answers to questions about your
emotional and physical state.
You can download varying lengths and types of meditation practice including a pack of meditations narrated by KD Lang.
I hope that was as satisfying for you as it was for me!