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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

5 Ways to Renew Your Life Today

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 29th 2010

happy walkerOnce in a while we can bring a little idea into our daily lives and it can create small changes that add up. Today I want to introduce an approach to sprinkle throughout your day. This is something I have written about before, but never optioned it as something to actively informally do in this way. So, today try and bring a beginner's mind to various tasks or activities that lie before you. What does this mean?

Beginner's mind is a fundamental attitude when engaging mindful living. Mindfulness is intentionally paying attention to the present moment, without judgment. Beginner's mind is akin to saying fresh eyes or seeing things as if for the very first time; In other words, being curious.

I'm about to give you 5 things you can bring beginner's mind to. Now, your mind may say, "Oh, I've seen these things before." See if that thought brings you closer to engaging with these or farther. The purpose here is simply re-mind yourself or bring this to you for the first time. Either way, choose to engage, with A Beginner's Mind.

Here are 5 things you can bring beginner's mind to today:

  1. Walking - It took a year or so to learn how to walk, so take a few minutes and walk slightly slower and get in touch with the experience of walking, the feelings and sensations in the legs and body.

  2. Eating - Pick a meal or a snack and instead of mindlessly chowing down, imagine this was the first time you've ever chose to eat this food. What do you notice?

  3. Listening - Whether outside or inside, close your eyes and imagine that you've never heard sound before, pay attention to the pitches, tones and frequency sounds.

  4. Breathing - Here's a classic one. Take a minute or two to become curious about this fundamental act of living. Notice where you are aware of the breath the most and see if you can follow the inhalation and exhalation, noticing the space between each, bringing fresh eyes to this automatic activity.

  5. Touching - What about things you touch day and day out. Feel the water in the shower, the feel o f the soap, or perhaps even pass by a tree, close your eyes and feel the bark. There are so many wonders in our everyday lives that we habituate to and lose sight of. Just take a moment to get in touch with touch.

Ofcourse, the mind may be saying, "this is ridiculous," but as best you can, an instrumental attitude in mindfulness is nonjudgment so see if you can apply it here.

Get back in touch with life is about peeling away the habituated lenses of perception that we build up over time and getting simple again. Let us know how it goes.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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