Reading Lately: Melissa Steginus’s Everyday Mindfulness
February 18, 2021 / Books
4/5: I was recently gifted this book, by the publisher TCK Publishing, in exchange for a honest review on my website and/or Instagram. Being that one of my goals for 2020-2021 is to try new-to-me stress and anxiety relievers, I was intrigued to dig into this book. As the cover says, it includes 108 simple practices to empower and transform your life, which happens over the course of 15 weeks. While I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as saying it transformed my life, it definitely provided a lot of insight into the power of mindfulness in everyday life, and helped guide me into building some of these practices into my days.
*All concepts and ideas below are that of Melissa Steginus (not Grace Built Co.) and are from the book Everyday Mindfulness.*
Everyday Mindfulness is divided into six sections, representing a different facet of you as a person: physical, emotional, rational, spiritual, occupation and network. Each section includes 18 exercises, with an explanation, the quick and simple exercise and a few reflection questions.
Keep reading to learn what I feel are the 2 biggest takeaways from this book.
If you are like me, you might be thinking mindfulness is an overused word, that has lost some of its meaning and power due to the influx of influencers preaching about it. That was definitely me going into this book, but I wasn’t truly taking into consideration what it means to be mindful in your daily life.
As the author says, mindfulness is about paying attention with intention. Noticing your thoughts, feelings, surroundings and behavior allows you to appreciate yourself and the world around you and gain powerful insights. Reading that might feel “revolutionary” but it doesn’t need to be. It should be simple and fit seamlessly into your everyday life. It is really about daily practice, being present in the moment, and connecting with your inner self.
Through mindfulness, you can strengthen both your self-empowerment and your personal fulfillment. By observing, interacting and reflecting, you will connect with yourself and the greater world around you, which in turn allows you to create change within your life. With this foundation, you can cultivate fulfillment and wisdom.
The changes you make to your life, that have meaningful impact, do not have to be momentous. The first section of this book focuses on physical mindfulness. To illustrate how simple these practices are to implement in your life, I am going to share a few of the authors recommendations:
- Take a deep breath. “Deep breathing connects you to your body, mind, and the present moment. This practice reduces stress and tension, relieves body aches and pain, lowers blood pressure, and aids in healthy sleep.”
- Eat without distraction. “The you eat, consider your distractions….Paying attention to what you eat fosters an attitude of gratitude and will help you to slow down and enjoy your food.”
- Declutter your space. “If you’re drowning in stuff that’s nice to have or that you might need someday, you may need to practice the art of letting go. Tidying your environment in your home, yard, office or vehicle creates open, organized space around you, which can promote feelings of calmness and positivity.”
One of my favorite sections was the exercise around Occupation. The opening quote (by Henry David Thoreau) of this section really spoke to me: “It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” Some of the exercises I found helpful were:
- Set boundaries. “Saying yes to one thing means saying no to another. If you constantly put others first by saying yes to their wants and needs before your won, you’ll find your priorities pushed so far back that you can barely see them! Setting clear boundaries and expectations–with others and yourself–ensures that you say yes to your priorities.”
- Practice creativity. “The creative process requires something we rarely allow ourselves: time and mental space to indulge our curiosity and play with ideas.”
- Prepare yourself. “Your thoughts and beliefs set the stage for your immediate actions and ongoing habits.”
Other vulnerability myths include: vulnerability is letting it all hang out; we can go it alone; I don’t do vulnerability.
These are just a few of the many things Everyday Mindfulness addresses in throughout the 108 days in takes to complete this book. There are several tactics you can apply to your personal and professional life that will really transform the way you interact with yourself and others. If you are interested in reading Everyday Mindfulness, you can buy it through TCK Publishing.