Discover all about my MINDFULNESS JOURNEY in the April issue of Your Family Magazine. This is the perfect opportunity for me to share some the benefits of mindfulness. This sacred journey to mindfulness has been a significant life transition for me, one that I hope you would find encouraging.
MY Journey to Mindfulness
I introduced ‘mindfulness’ into my life fifteen years ago when I first read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. At that time, I had tried mindful meditations, but I could not seem to calm my thoughts or be present in the moment. My restless mind instantly wandered, and I would get easily distracted by my thoughts. So I tried to just have a moment of quiet with myself and sit with my thoughts for a few minutes every day. It did eventually get better with time. Practising mindfulness is something you cultivate over time – it is a way of life.
I have been soaking up the wisdom of inspirational self-help authors like Napoleon Hill, Louise Hay, Dr Wayne W Dyer and personal transformation pioneer, Deepak Chopra since the early 90s. I have found timeless wisdom in self-help literature. These serendipitous findings have helped shaped my life and belief systems. Also, affirmations and meditations have since become a part of my daily life.
Mindfulness Journey Helped Me Manage Stress
Eleven years ago, I took a leap of faith and left the comfort of a full-time job to pursue my dream of opening a luxury boutique. About six months after opening my doors, we found ourselves in a global recession. I was under a lot of pressure having a new business, along with the added stress of a recession.
Shoppers were rightfully frugal and not splurging on designer wear. I started using adaptive pricing to ride out the recession but had to quickly look at other options. The economic downturn had seriously hurt my business and left me feeling overwhelmed. I was tired of being lost in stressful thought patterns and living life on auto-pilot.
As a result, I started practising mindful living with diligence, as my stress coping strategy. I began my days with a short ten minute guided meditation. After that, I would go through my day listening to binaural beats. I found a lot of success in sound wave therapy which helped settle my restless mind. And living with gratitude taught me to be more mindful and heartful. And ever since I’ve been living more mindfully, meditatively, and with more appreciation.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present with whatever you are doing in the present moment. It is being aware of your thoughts but not being distracted by them. It teaches you to be less overwhelmed or reactive and more in the flow, being present in the now. The aim of mindfulness is to bring your awareness to the present moment, without being affected by it. It is the practising of moment-to-moment awareness.
Taking regular mindful breaks during the day helped me become more aware and less reactive to the noise around me. These mindful moments offered me peace of mind and an incomparable stillness. I also enjoyed spending time in nature, especially in my beautiful garden. Creating these intentional experiences brought mental clarity and inner peace.
What are the benefits of practising Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is proven to reduce stress and improve both physical health and well-being. The benefits of practising mindfulness are endless and backed up by scientific studies. Mindfulness is an ancient practice, based on eastern wisdom and not ‘new-age hype’.
I found that practising mindfulness was not only a great stress reduction tool, but it also enhanced my creativity to new heights. I could think more clearly without becoming overwhelmed or distracted by my ever-growing to-do-lists. It also gave me the clarity to focus and make better business decisions.
During this time, I devoured any literature on business and retail. I subscribed to trade journals and stayed on top of world retail trends. That is when I discovered the ‘Pop Up’ Retail Trend. It was a new phenomenon sweeping the fashion capitals of the world, and it aligned with my intention for my business.
How Practising Mindfulness Transformed My Career?
After months of research and planning, I made the bold decision to close my boutique doors and pursue an unfamiliar retail model. My boutique was just under two years old at that time, so it was a hard decision to make. But it was one of the most rewarding decisions that I had ever made as a fashion entrepreneur.
I was one of the earliest adopters of the Pop Up retail model in South Africa, hosting my first Pop Up Boutique in 2010. I’ve had the most success with both my seasonal and annual Pop Up Boutiques. Practising mindfulness gave me the focus to keep pushing harder. It also gave me the clarity to be more innovative with my approach to business, while staying ahead of retail trends.
My mindfulness journey allows me to live a life that is aligned with my true purpose. And this reflects in my work with both StyleSociety and hauteedit.com.
My Mindful Approach to Setting Boundaries
Practising mindfulness has brought more awareness into my life. This awareness has helped me become more intentional with my experiences and more intuitive with my choices. It is all about honouring my personal space and those I let in. In life, I can choose to live in peace or in resistance. When you are at peace and in a positive mindset, you live in a high-vibrational frequency. Being a part of this high-vibe tribe, you attract more positive experiences and high-vibe people into your life. Knowing this has taught me to safeguard my personal space because I see it as sacred. When you’re fully present, you can immediately pick up on negativity in any form and adjust by setting healthy boundaries.
How Mindfulness Taught Me Compassion
Living in the energy of love and the present moment has opened my heart to others. It has moved me to be more compassionate. It has made me show up for those less fortunate. To be present and selfless. And to live with gratitude.
My husband is a specialist physician who also believes in the power of mindfulness. Cultivating mindfulness is an ongoing process in both our lives, and we support each other in our ongoing journey to mindful living.
Mindfulness brought me to this point, and I have never been happier or more fulfilled.
To living your best life!
YOUR FAMILY MAGAZINE
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 1 April 2019 and has since been updated.
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