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PREVIEW: Peace by Piece – Mindful Self-Compassion by Amanda Votto

Years ago, my concept of “self-care” consisted of getting massages, drinks with friends, and going on a good ol’ shopping spree. However, about six years ago, I found myself in a state of pure exhaustion – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually drained. This state of depletion was the catalyst for my personal growth and rebirth. I began to discover what true self-care was and it didn’t include any of my prior go-to’s. We all have it in us to come out stronger than ever so if you find yourself in a similar state of exhaustion, hang on…there is always room for growth and true inner healing.

My path to healing led to me to mindfulness. Fast forward six years, I am now a mindfulness teacher and I am passionate about teaching others what I needed the most in my exhausted state.

There has been a lot of talk about mindfulness recently but not everyone knows exactly what it is. Mindfulness is a way of beingpresent with life as it is happening in the moment. It is most commonly defined as paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment without judgment. It is a way to train our attention to be in the present moment instead of lost in thought about the past or future. Through mindful practice we can experience all that is available to us in the present moment- which includes our sensory experience, our thoughts and our emotions.

Mindfulness can be practiced by formal meditation and also by informally bringing your attention to what you are doing while you are doing it. Sounds simple, right? Well, give it a try. Right now, you can bring your attention into your body. Sense your feet against the floor, feel your body sitting in your chair, and now begin to focus on your breath. You may soon notice that your attention is all over the place! This is normal. With practice, we can train our attention to return over and over to the present moment by returning to our breath. This is a very simplified example of mindfulness practice but there are many resources available for guided practices online. It is essential to understand that mindfulness is a process and needs to be experienced routinely in order to reap all of its benefits. It is a way of building present moment awareness that is cultivated overtime, peace by piece.

Below is are some ideas to help you mindfully approach those busy times when you feel physically and emotionally exhausted.

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