By Leo Babauta

In this webinar that accompanies our Daily Mindful Practices course, I gave an overview of the direction of this course, then talked about putting mindfulness into practice during the day — in productivity, health, relationships and happiness.

I also did a short guided meditation and answered questions.

Note: There was a broadcasting difficulty somewhere in the middle, where I kept talking and recording but wasn’t actually broadcasting. I finally figured it out and then started a new video stream.

Here are the notes (video is below the notes):

I. Overview of the course

II. How mindfulness has looked for me in practice

  1. Relationships & emotions

* Yesterday got into a bit of an argument with a loved one, nothing too major but it didn’t end well. In the middle of it, I dropped into my body to check on my emotions, noticed that I was frustrated and hurt, stayed with that in the middle of the conversation for a few moments. It helped to keep me calm, and I didn’t lose my temper.
* Afterward, I was a bit upset and depressed. I went for a run, partially to clear my head. I dropped into my body a few times during the run, noticing that I was telling myself a story about the other person, over and over, and that it was causing me to be upset. I allowed myself to stay with my emotions, even though I noticed resistance to that. Staying with the emotions was helpful, because I saw that the pain wasn’t too bad, just a low-level energy in my chest.
* It helps to do this practice of dropping down into your body when you’re in the middle of a difficult conversation, or afterward when you’re replaying the story in your head. It helps you realize that this isn’t such a big deal, that you can handle it, and it allows you to feel the emotions without overreacting to them.

  1. Productivity

* You’re probably like me, where you don’t really feel like working on your big tasks, so you go to distractions or busywork. Mindfulness can help.
* Use the drop-in technique, where you drop into your body and notice your resistance, notice fears that might be coming up, notice your stories, drop below them and just see how your body is feeling
* Instead of letting yourself run, you can pause and drop in, and then work despite the discomfort, and see that it’s not so bad
* This is best done in little doses, but you’ll get better and better at this

  1. Health

* The same thing happens when we’re putting off exercise — we can set an exercise or activity to do every day, and when the time comes, use our resistance to the exercise as a time to practice mindfulness — drop in and see what you’re feeling, get going despite the discomfort, which isn’t a big deal
* You can then use mindfulness during the exercise to monitor your reaction to discomfort, see the stories you’re telling yourself, and not give in to them
* The same goes for food — I pick small changes to make to your diet, like adding more vegetables or legumes, and then notice my resistance when I’m going to eat them, notice my story, eat them anyway, and see myself gradually adjust
* I also can mindfully appreciate my food more, eating it and really experiencing it

  1. Happiness

* When you’re able to be more in touch with what’s going on in your mind and your body, it helps you to develop a more peaceful attitude during the day
* You can notice when you’re suffering, and allow yourself to turn to it and really feel it
* You can notice when you’re feeling groundlessness, and instead of grasping for ground, trying to practice being OK with it
* Overall this leads to less anxiety, less frustration

III. Putting mindfulness into practice

IV. Questions I answered:

The Webinar Recording

You can watch the video below or download the video here (or just download the audio):