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A few months ago I had an episode which was the beginning of the change in my life for the better. I had pretty much  3 years of perpetual ‘fight-or-flight mode’ from when I started YogaHub right up until this day. I think it was back in March.

This episode was brought about by everything becoming more organised and under control. The managers had joined YogaHub and roles were delegated out and everything around me was calming down and not just going well but going super well! So what was the problem? If everything was becoming more and more organised, systematic and calm then what could possibly be wrong?

The problem was (you guessed it) Me. Pretty much anything that had to be learned  about business within that 3 years had to be learned fast and there was quite a few situations up until this point that had me switched on and constantly firing.  I had a considerable period of time  ‘putting out fires’ of all descriptions within project management of builders, employees, customers and government bodies which kept me on the edge and when all this got sorted I just couldn’t get off my edge.

I have to say it was a horrible feeling. Can you imagine everything going super well and everything becoming organised and this is when I felt at my utmost worst! The word I am about to use is rarely in my vocabulary anymore along with a myriad of other words that don’t help me, you or anyone else. I will tackle this further in later blogs and I know Rachelle has already touched on it (You Can Find Rachelle’s Blog Here).

That word that I rarely use is ‘Stress’. And I don’t use it as it is really not helpful as ‘Stress’ is a story and what’s more important is how it feels in your body and not the story. Stories are stories. Symptoms can be dealt with systematically.

Just because I don’t use the word anymore it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t feel it. But I guarantee you because I use the word less I definitely 100% feel it much less. There are lots of other techniques, rituals, routines…………..whatever you want to call them that I have implemented in my life to help me be more mindful and more on all of that later.

I read loads of blogs as I’m sure you do. We are bombarded with information. It’s never been a better time to be alive. There is endless amounts of information available to us at the click of a mouse. Blogs usually have 5, 7, 10 helpful tips about some area of interest.

Let’s start off slow though. This is how I started on my journey earlier this year so I’ll share it in the hope that it will help you.

The first thing I did this year to ground me in the present, make life seem like it is moving slower and become more Mindful is I would remind myself as many times as I remembered every day to ask myself the question:

How Many Breaths Have I Owned Today? 

Now what the hell do I mean by that? What I mean is as soon as I asked myself this question no matter where I was and what I was doing I would consciously follow my inhale and my exhale. Just for one breath. I wouldn’t beat myself up if I hadn’t remembered in a while or if I had let myself get worked up prior to reminding myself. I would simply follow my inhale and my exhale.

This would ground me within the moment that I was doing it whether I was sitting in the office, walking down the street, just about to meet someone or in the car. It’s like pressing pause on the movie that is your life. Just for a moment taking everything in as it is and realising everything is OK.

All we have in this life is this individual fleeting moment. We can make up as much stories as we like about past and future however neither are real. Not right now they’re not. To me this thing called Mindfulness is about being in this moment as much as we can be and appreciating it for everything that it is. I entered this practice gently with this one question to myself as many times as I remembered to ask it. It has led me to a place where I experience, not all of life, but many more moments being absolutely present which I am so grateful for.

I really hope this makes sense to you right now? I am really interested in your experience so please feel free to comment, share or ask a question. If this has been helpful I am very glad of it. And if you haven’t already. Why not ask yourself the question:

How Many Breaths Have I Owned Today? 

And start your journey to becoming more Mindful 🙂


Author Matt

I started YogaHub out of a room at the back of someone else's house back in 2012 with nothing more than an idea. I'd been teaching Yoga since 2008 and had no intention of opening a Yoga Studio. I think, like everything I've done, I just decided one day I was going to give it a try. And try I did and if you're reading this I guess I'm still trying.

More posts by Matt

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Gabriella says:

    I have entered this “new world” of mindfulness in the last few months too and I totally agree with what you said. Although I think that focusing on the breath is not enough, it is also important to disengage from any negative feeling (anger,regret etc), being aware of their presence and decide to let them go. This is my struggle at the moment. I improved a lot but I still have a lot of hard work to do as I still find myself getting lost in stories of the mind and engaging with feelings that prevent me from being mindful. Thank you for sharing your experience. Gabriella