Measuring Mindfulness

Surround yourself with what you love; delicious tastes, colors, smells, textures, music, people and animals who make you happy. That’s part of the secret to mindfulness shared at the recent PINK Pop Up event by stress and mindfulness expert Dr. Kathleen Hall. That’s exactly what this group of top women business leaders from corporate America, the arts and women business owners did over dinner recently, gathering for conversation and connection at the new hotspot JP Atlanta thanks to Northwestern Mutual’s Susan Freeman. Susan meditates every morning for ten minutes. In our video interview with Kathleen, she says that kind of mindful living is the secret to well-being and longevity.

Kathleen, who is the author of three books and appears regularly on national television programs, opened the conversation by referencing confidence – the lack of it in women today. She said that with so many perspectives we too often question ourselves resulting in stress and unhappiness. In previous generations women had an opinion and weren’t afraid to say, “This is the way it is!”

Ironically immediately prior to the conversation, everyone in the room had introduced themselves with a heavy dose of modesty. Example: “Hi. I’m Amy Weil of The Weil Firm.” Luckily a friend piped in, “She also was a Federal Prosecutor for 25 years.” Then another, “I’m Susan. I work at SunTrust.” Again a friend speaks up, “Yes, and she’s the CMO of the company; the highest ranking woman and the highest ranking African American.” And so it went. When Shay Griffin introduced herself as CEO of Chez Studios, PR guru Meg Reggie of MRPR added, “She’s also on the Georgia Film Commission and helped bring in billions to the State’s film industry.

Extraordinary women including Jennifer Hightower, Cox Chief General Council; Ofelia de La Valette, Dance 101 founder and owner; and Janece Shaffer, award winning playwright, added to the conversation on how to integrate mindfulness into their lives and businesses. Clearly it’s become mainstream with new science to support its validity. A study just published in Biological Psychiatry found that mindful meditation actually changes the brain and improves well-being while reducing stress and risk of disease. What’s mindfulness? I’d describe it as simply noticing the sensations in your body and being aware of your thoughts experienced through attention, conscious breathing or movement; and observing yourself experiencing this. It’s that simple.

By Cynthia Good
Photo by Kazoka | Shutterstock

Cynthia Good is the founder and CEO of PINK. She’s also a women’s activist, certified yoga instructor, author, speaker, and dancer.

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