I just finished reading a most inspiring book.
The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, calm, and Joy From Morning to Evening by Laurie J. Cameron is a guide in how to slow down and be present during every waking moment of the day.
“Mindfulness” is a popular term right now, and it’s one of those big words that sounds good… but it can also feel a little vague. Do you know what I mean?
What I appreciate about this book is that the author gives the reader dozens of specific ways to put the BIG concept of mindfulness to practical use.
The very first day that I incorporated just a few of her suggestions, I accomplished more and was happier because the hours felt more balanced. Isn’t that what we all want? To feel more relaxed and do more of the things that matter?
I’m a Type A person, and I admit that slowing down and being mindful feels counterintuitive to everything on my all-important ‘To Do’ list. Yet big companies like Google and Deloitte offer mindfulness training for their employees, because the practice is proven to actually increase productivity.
I especially enjoy the author’s recommendations for how to begin the day on a positive note.
Here are the first three things she suggests:
1. Wake up to joy
Spend a few precious moments after you first open your eyes, simply lying in bed. Take three deep breaths. Do a mini body scan to see how you’re feeling physically. Bring attention to your thoughts, focusing on gratitude.
2. Breathe for five minutes
Sit still in a quiet place, where you can relax. Set a timer and simply breathe in and out, focusing on your breath.
3. Strengthen a positive outlook
With your mind settled, bring to mind someone you love. Offer prayers or good thoughts to the people you will encounter today. Appreciate the contributions you are making to the world, and focus on the good you are doing (and not on all the things you have not yet done).
The book’s short chapters lead the reader from waking in the morning to falling asleep at night, with specific suggestions for being mindful throughout every phase of a day — working, during free time, with your significant family, and at home.
The Mindful Day is 272 pages and retails for $21.99 USD. Thanks to the nice people at National Geographic Partners, you could win your very own free copy. Simply leave a comment on this page and answer this question:
If you had an extra hour every day, how would you spend it?
The giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. shipping address, and will run through Sunday, April 15 at midnight MST. I’ll announce the lucky winner on Monday, April 16.
BIG thanks to National Geographic and TLC Book Tours for providing the book for this giveaway, and good luck to all of you!
P.S. You might also enjoy “Beyond 30 Days: When Simple Acts Become Good Habits.”