Feeling calm isn’t always the easiest thing when you’re a busy, professional woman. It’s can be difficult to know where to begin when you are trying to bring calmness to your life, especially when you live and work in stressful situations.
Style Lyrical HQ met Lucy Lucas this week. As the owner of Lucy Lucas Yoga and Mind, Lucy is a yoga instructor, teaches mindfulness, and coaches. Lucy’s journey has seen a breakdown from working too hard, freelancing, yoga teacher training in Bali, and moving back to her hometown to teach yoga and mindfulness. We knew that we had to talk to Lucy, who loves helping others who feel stuck and powerless.
Lucy’s easy-to-understand approach to mindfulness is exactly what the overworked woman needs. Finding calmness is important, but where do you begin?
SLHQ spoke to Lucy this week; her raw and truthful responses are exactly what you need if you’re new to this area and are ready to explore more.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness helps you reflect on your situations and reactions so that you can teach yourself new habits. In short, mindfulness teaches you how to approach and respond to circumstances in a new way.
Paying attention to newness doesn’t come naturally. Humans are wired to fear what is different. Mindfulness makes you aware of the fear and teaches you how NOT to respond to it. While this concept takes a lot of practice, you’ll begin to notice how your body responds, reacts, and responds to various situations.
What does mindfulness bring to our lives?
Mindfulness brings a greater capacity to experience what is going on inside and around us. You will potentially find joy, but you may also experience things that are unpleasant.
It’s ok to notice the feelings that are unpleasant. It’s natural and instinctive to push unlikeable emotions. It’s also natural to want to react to what you are feeling (eat, exercise, argue, etc). The more you can sit and tolerate the unpleasant, the stronger your resilience will grow.
Breathe through the unlikable feelings.
Tolerate the urge to do something as a reaction.
Notice the pain that comes through.
Re-ask yourself if you want to make the same decision you wanted to when the urge came up.
Going through this process is what mindfulness is all about.
How can a busy woman bring more mindfulness into her life?
This may be a bit of a controversial answer, but stop being so busy!
You make a choice to be busy. You don’t actually have to go out every night, have a job you hate, or put your kids in a million activities. Being busy makes us feel needed, perfect, and important.
If you stop being busy, you can become aware of what you’re trying to squash down. Ask yourself, “What is the busyness all about?”
You might find yourself saying things like:
“I have to do ___ because ____”
“So and so doesn’t do it right, so I have to do it”.
You might feel like you don’t have a choice. There’s a sense of identity around being busy, having stuff, and having a job title. In reality, that identity isn’t real – you have created your life to maintain that identity. When things come along that threaten that identity, there’s a lot of fear and anxiety and uncomfortableness that comes along.
Being mindful means to embrace stillness, which means turning off all stresses or anything that triggers your stress response (i.e. social media, tv, news, etc.).
If you want to bring more mindfulness into your life, create a home practice. Spend 10-20 minutes a day being still. Schedule the time in your diary and make it a priority.
Sit. Be alone. Breathe.
How can I get started practicing mindfulness?
Use what is around you. There are a lot of great apps to get you started. Consider using Headspace, Buddhify, or Calm.
Begin with a practice of about 10 minutes. Do it on the tube (or any other public transportation) and make your journey more pleasant.
Lucy believes that mindfulness is a practice that all busy women need to implement in their life. The ladies at Style Lyrical HQ couldn’t agree more! We are all trying to have a feeling of calmness in our lives, and we can’t thank Lucy enough for sharing her amazing insight about this new world to us.