Today we kick off our
30 Days of Mindful Living!
We’ll be sharing expert advice, real worldtips and tools to help you thrive all month long! We’ll also have a ton of insights from our conversations with teachers, coaches and other industry experts that we can’t wait to share with you!
Today we are featuring yoga and meditation teacher Betsy Mullins! Betsy teaches every week at Just Om Yoga Studio in South Miami and she’s also available for private sessions! If you haven’t had the chance to practice with her, you don’t know what you are missing.
(SE)What does Mindfulness mean to you?
(BM) Mindfulness for me is a way of approaching life from a centered, thoughtful place.
(SE)What tools do you think are essential for living mindfully?
(BM)Breathing deeply. Laughing out loud. Making space for the things that are truly important to you everyday.
(SE) What does your mindfulness practice look like?
(BM) I've started folding more and more elements in to my daily routine but there is a definite ritual: I begin and end every day with meditation. As soon as I wake up, I drink a big glass of water, make a cup of tea, and sit down in total silence for around 20 minutes. I focus on my breathing and work with mantras. It's not always easy but I feel a million times better on days when I make the time. At the end of the day, I light candles, turn off all the lights, and sit in silence again for a bit before I go to bed. I also have a daily yoga practice. That definitely helps me approach life from a far more mindful place.
(SE) Sounds like a very peaceful way to start and end your day! When did this practice begin?
(BM) The daily meditation and yoga have been part of my life for about two-three years.
(SE) How did you get started living mindfully?
(BM) Back when I was in grad school, I started having panic attacks. I wound up taking a few yoga classes and learning a bit about meditation and it all helped tremendously. I kind of flirted with it all off and on over the years until I hit another roadblock in my life. About three years ago, I was having a very hard time emotionally and I wound up doing a 21 day meditation challenge. I couldn't believe how much better I felt. I started to carve out 10 minutes every morning. Then about two years ago, I got serious about all of this. A very dear friend was diagnosed with kidney failure and I volunteered to donate one of my kidneys to save her life. Getting ready for the surgery really made me get back in touch with myself and my body. I needed the meditation to help keep my nerves in check and I fell in love with yoga all over again. I fully credit meditation and yoga with my very speedy recovery. There's no going back for me!
(SE) What has this practice done for you as a person?
(BM) I handle stressful situations from a much more grounded place. Things still get to me, but there's a lot less sense of constant emergency about it all. I'm much more patient than I used to be. Most importantly, I'm a lot more kind to myself. I'm making more space for the things that really matter.
(SE) What advice would you give to someone who would like to incorporate a mindfulness practice into their daily routine but cannot find the time or the headspace?
(BM) You can find five minutes somewhere! There were days when I was getting started when the only time I could find for myself was in the shower. It's a beginning!
(SE) Is there a particular practice you would recommend to cultivate mindfulness?
Allow yourself to enjoy whatever moments you have when you are doing something you love. I make a point of really focusing on the moment when I make that first cup of tea every day. Start to pay attention to the sounds, the smells, the light. Bringing yourself fully into the moment opens up so many possibilities. Allow yourself to sit somewhere quiet and take 15 long, slow juicy breaths with your eyes closed. Even something that small can be very powerful.
(SE) Can you list three, everyday things that we can do to stay in the present and live a mindful life?
(BM) 1.) Take a moment every day to let the people you love know that care. Give them a hug, send a note, make a phone call. Be grateful for the good.
2.) Find the time to do something every day that truly inspires and energizes you. Read a book, take a class, go for a long walk. As fun as TV and the internet can be, there are loads of other things you probably adore that are much better for your spirit. Shift some of your focus there.
3.) Treat your senses- eat real food that tastes great, use scented oils in your bath or shower, listen to something soothing. If you activate one of your senses, it makes it a little easier to bring yourself in to the moment.
(SE) Do you offer any type of mindfulness training? If so, can you provide details?
(BM) I teach yoga and meditation every week at Just Om in South Miami. I'm also available for private sessions and group workshops.
(SE) Are you currently working on anything you would like to share with the Soulful Essence community?
(BM) My new website will be launching this month! It will have recipes, meditation tips, and yoga fun! Stay tuned!
(SE) Are there any other comments or insights you would like to leave the Soulful Essence with?
(BM) Be kind to yourself and to those around you.
Thanks so much to Betsy for taking the time to share her insights with us! If you’d like to learn more about what Betsy is up to or would like to practice to her, she can be reached on Facebook at: @Betsy Mullins and Instagram at: @betsykatemullins.
Do you have a mindfulness practice? We’d love to hear about! Share it with us in the comments below and be sure to follow us on social media: @soulfulessence!