Sarah Elkins en Strong and Worthy Empowered Entrepreneurial Women, Lifestyle, Publishers & Bloggers Owner: Keynote Speaker, Storyteller, Freelance Writing, Workshop Presenter & Facilitator, Musician • Elkins Consulting 11/5/2017 · 2 min de lectura · 1,4K

Mindfulness is Not Blank. Mindfulness is Clarity.

Mindfulness is Not Blank. Mindfulness is Clarity.I stood at the edge of the trail, my face in the sun and my eyes closed behind my sunglasses.

My phone buzzed. A new text. I reached into my pocket and was about to pull the phone out, when I stopped myself. It can wait.

I turned my face back into the sun, feeling the warmth on the exposed part of my chest above my t-shirt, and the cool breeze chilling my calves below my running pants.

My phone buzzed again. Another text. I reached into my pocket and was about to pull the phone out, when I stopped myself again. It can wait.

Once more, I turned my head up toward the sun, but this time kept my eyes open, looking closely at the pine needles on the tree a few feet above my head. They were shimmering and gently moving in the breeze. I could hear the wind gusts traveling up the side of the mountain through the trees, a wave of sound getting louder as it moved closer to me at a crest on the hill.

I lost myself, just briefly, in the sounds around me. Taking my time, I inventoried my surroundings and my body’s response to the sun and the wind. I noticed the goosebumps on my legs, but didn’t feel cold. I noticed the warm sensation from the sun on my skin, in direct contrast with the goosebumps created by the cool breeze. The wind seemed to stop. Everything around me was suddenly in hyper focus, silent, like a bubble of peace and comfort surrounding me. I was aware of everything but myself in that moment. My hamster mind was silent.

When my father was dying, one word brought him great comfort.
The phrase refers to being present. It appears when G-d is talking to Moses and asks where he is. Of course he knows where Moses is, right? So Moses responds with “he-nay-nee”, or “Here I am.” He’s letting G-d know that he’s all-in, that he is present, aware, and ready to listen and learn.

When I visited my father a few days before he died, he would mumble the word over and over again, reminding himself not to be concerned with the past or the future, and to just be in this “in-between” space, with grace and mindfulness.

It wasn’t surprising that as I stood on the mountain in my bubble of silence, that word would resonate in my head. I said it out loud. I felt it. I believed it. Here I am.

He-Nay-Nee. Here I Am.

I’ve never considered myself a religious person, though we celebrate the Jewish holidays and find great value in the rituals; I’ve always felt a strong connection to nature, the people around me, and a kind of universal energy. I think that’s why I was so open in that moment, it was like a message, and I heard it so clearly.

As I jogged back down the mountain, thighs burning from the descent, I kept repeating the word. Every rock, every tree root, every turn in the path lit up in front of me as I ran, fully present, on that beautiful spring day.

When I stepped into my yard, breathing hard and smiling with satisfaction, I thought:

So THAT’s what mindfulness looks like.


Sarah Elkins is a professional coach and consultant, helping people and businesses improve their communication through the art of storytelling. She’s also the President of Elkins Consulting, the company making a splash with small, face-to-face, affordable interactive conferences called No Longer Virtual.

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Sarah Elkins 8/6/2017 · #19

#17 Practice, @Nicole Chardenet! Even a moment of mindfulness is a good start.

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Sarah Elkins 8/6/2017 · #18

#16 Love that description, @Aaron 🐝 Skogen, and love that you have a new word for those moments. I'll have to look up the Natal phrase, thank you!

Nicole Chardenet 6/6/2017 · #17

#15 Um, how long does it have to count as mindfulness? Does, "Hey Nicole, get back to being mindful," count for that half-second it takes to think it before your mind wanders off again count? :)

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Aaron 🐝 Skogen 5/6/2017 · #16

#15 For just a little bit @Sarah Elkins. I helped my Brother and his family move over the weekend. They moved from a small acreage to a larger one about 20 minutes west, almost dead center on the top of the Buffalo Ridge here in SW MN (you can throw a softball into SD). Anyway, they are surrounded by section upon section of CRP. Wild grasslands in all directions, from the oasis of wetlands, cottonwood, oak, poplar and blue spruce that shelter the homestead. After the final round of "heavy lifting" yesterday, I sat down, beer in hand.

I heard nothing but bird song, and the wind flowing through a HUGE Cottonwood on the northeast corner of the property. I lost myself in the wind sweeping up a ridge line to the southeast. The grasses performing natures ballet, dancing up the ridge in sweeping viridescent shades. The wind and the grass reminded of two lovers holding hands as they journeyed the road less traveled, basking and joyful in the moment. At some point I lost sense of the birdsong, the rustling of the cottonwood, my own breath, my heartbeat, and, yes, even the cold beer in my hand. I'm not sure how long I was there, yet a phrase came back to me when I started to feel my heart beat again, "He-nay-nee" said my mind. In those moments, I felt complete peace.

Thanks for that phrase Sarah!

It is much like another from the Natal region of South Africa. There the phrase is “Sawu bona”, which translated means “I see you.”

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Sarah Elkins 5/6/2017 · #15

Did anyone here experience mindfulness this weekend? I didn't, so I'll make an effort to get outside this week and lose myself again. My hamster brain won't give me a moment's rest!

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Nicole Chardenet 12/5/2017 · #14

"The hamster wheel" - what some call the "monkey mind". It never stops, it's always going, you're always thinking...mindfulness helps to give it a rest. Your mind doesn't go willingly, rather like a Type-A CEO who needs to be tied down in an airplane seat for a much-needed vacation. That buzzing little hoozit in your pocket? It can wait.

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Ian Weinberg 12/5/2017 · #13

Great post @Sarah Elkins The challenge is to be able to carry the magic of these moments into the tedium of daily life.

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David B. Grinberg 12/5/2017 · #12

Thank you for this beautifully written buzz, Sarah.
As a nature lover myself, I concur with -- and echo -- your strong sentiments. There's nothing that compares to the beauty and wonder of nature to set one's mind at ease, to help find solace, peace and tranquility in today's hyper-paced and fluid high-tech world. Thus, let's all raise a glass to Mother Nature and treat her with the respect and admiration she deserves. Keep buzzing...

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