Focusing only on what is actually happening right now is a powerful skill.

And a tough one to master.

It sounds so simple and yet our brains are designed to be busy, alert and easily distracted. After all, those distractions might be a sabre tooth tiger, right?

The formal practice of mindful meditation entrains our brains to be able to gather in and focus.

As we add in the attitudes of mindfulness, it means that we can focus our minds and focus our resources. This is very different from when anxiety strikes. Anxiety pulls us down into our primitive, amygdala controlled mind – right out of our pre-frontal cortex (PFC). Why is our PFC important? That is where our emotional intelligence resources live in our brain. Trust, creativity, imagination, collaboration, connection… all those resources that are actually useful for solving modern problems (there isn’t actually a sabre tooth tiger in your boardroom no matter how much he/she resembles one!).

The practice of mindfulness builds bridges in your brain making those resources available in situations where they are needed, when they are needed. It is odd and troubling that our brains are not wired to do this naturally yet.

So – sounds like a good super power doesn’t it?

It is worth the effort.

And yes, it still is an effort. Six to eight weeks of struggling with mindful meditation will show you an amazing growth in these skills. From – “I am doing it wrong. I can’t do this. My brain is broken!” to “This is so simple yet profound.”

In fact it is the struggle that builds the neurology. Cool eh? Doing it wrong is doing it right!

The breath meditation is a fabulous tool – you will absolutely get the struggle and re-focus exercise as you use it.

It is also good to have an easier one… the mindful body scan is that easier meditation. The easier meditation allows you to sink deeply into your body with your mind. It is often a very relaxing meditation so, sit up if you are comfortable doing so. You may find that as you allow yourself to be mindful of each part of your body you may find emotion releasing, realizations appearing. This is all normal. Just allow yourself to observe these appearing, and then let them drift away.

Here is a short 10 minute experience of the mindful body scan.

Download the Mindful Body Scan Meditation MP3

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Mindful Meditation Series

Start at the beginning with this series

Introduction to Mindfulness

Breath Meditation