Mindfulness: Tips for turning a stressful year into an inner journey to relief
This year has been full of uncertainties, and while we all are finding new ways to adjust and cope with our ever-changing world, mindfulness has become a popular and helpful practice for many. Lee Papa, Mindfulness & Well-Being speaker, author and trainer, has made it her life purpose to help people find relief in stressful times.
“I was a Type A at one point; I looked outside myself for relief, validation, happiness and fulfillment,” Papa says. “We’ve been programmed for judgment our whole lives, and we judge ourselves the most. Nothing externally is going to change until we shift our mindset to be aware of your inner journey.”
Papa recognizes this is a difficult mindset to achieve and suggests starting by identifying your negative feelings and bucketing them by contrast. For example, if you’re feeling like things are chaotic and uncontrollable, remember that in order to know what calm feels like, you have to experience chaos.
“Contrast diffuses the powerful negative energy, and you shift your concept of that contrast to bring clarity; how do we know there’s light if we haven’t experienced darkness?” Papa explains. “We are deliberately creating the life we desire. When things start to change like you lose a job, it’s raising out of the contrast and instead of dipping into fear or loss, you need to celebrate the change because you are getting closer to the ultimate goal.”
In general, Papa reminds us that in order to change our perspective, we need to recognize that we are leading a participant reactionary life; it’s all how we interpret our reality and what we do as a result.
Mindfulness and meditation have also been proven to be huge pain relievers for athletes. Connor Fields was on the Olympic BMX Team in 2012; after adding mindfulness practices to his routine regularly, he improved his skills and won gold in 2016.
“Quantum physics will tell you that when you give attention to something, that’s when it becomes real. Wanting something is just wanting but using the energy of creation and visualization makes it a reality. Again, you are deliberately creating your outcome,” Papa adds.
Papa opened her own wellness center in Las Vegas in 2009, which taught her the importance of this practice and wanted to expand her reach. In 2015, she created a program called Mindfulness Lounge to aid individuals in their journeys. She now has her own website with meditations and practices for all skill levels, and two books: “A Year of Mindfulness for Beginners” and “The Temple of All Knowing: A Road to Spirit,” both available on Amazon.