Is God or the Buddha in the room with you? 

What is it that you want in the room with you when you’re making big choices about your business? 

For many leaders that I coach, the big things they want in the room with them are the right data or knowledge and their own instincts. 

They also love having me as a coach in the room with them because they see me as a sounding board. Someone who’s smart enough to get their ideas, but objective enough to challenge and push their thinking to a new level. 

But what they don’t always realize is that we’re not in the room alone. If I’m in the room, the Buddha is in the room too. Not that I’m the Buddha, far from it, but I try always to bring a bit of that stillness and Zen sensibility into the space with us. 

And I think that’s more vital than most people realize. Yes knowledge in the room, yes instincts, yes some crazy wisdom, but don’t we want God in the room with us? Don’t we want the one bright mind of the Buddha? Or the brilliance of Saraswati?

Our work may be of this world, but your calling is so much deeper. It’s a calling to serve and create something that matters. And even if all you have is a sliver of the divine don’t you want it in the room with you? Don’t you want it sitting with you as you decide which direction to go? 

So how do you do this? 


  • Create some space for silence when you’re making a big choice or contemplating your next move
  • Let go of thinking and sink into your body, feel the energy that flows through you
  • Offer a prayer or ask for guidance as you make a choice, even if you don’t know who or what you’re speaking to
  • Be open to the possibility of guidance from something outside of yourself as you chart your path
  • Imagine a mentor you value in the room with you sitting quietly in the corner listening

Maybe this feels too woo woo or maybe it speaks to something you’ve always felt, but it’s so simple to start bringing it in. And even if all it brings you is a little more peace and clarity of mind, isn’t that alone worth it? 

When you make big choices who do you want in the room with you? 

Think beyond the people in your life to the energy that helps you be as wise as possible. 




Be Still

With so much going on out there, now is a time to be still.

Take your coffee out in the morning, listen to the distant sound of traffic, and birds, and children.

Sit at night, with the lights all turned off and see how many crickets you can hear.

Be with people.

Listen to the sound of their voices lilting, hear their stories, their fears, their hopes, their dreams.

This is as good for leaders, as it is dear friends.

When there is nothing to do.
When you can’t see anyone’s smile.
When it feels like things are beyond comprehension.

Just be still.

And if you notice your own anxiety, or resistance, or grief emerging. Allow it to blossom into tears, into a desire to be held, into feelings deep in your stomach.

Be still with yourself.

Life is a mystery, one more apparent now than usual.
And just like an old detective, sitting quietly and observing the suspects.

Now is a time to be still, to listen, and to notice what you can.


Day 3: Getting to Know Your Breath

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of things to pay attention to in your life.

You have goals, to-do lists, calls, texts, emails, appointments, updates, assignments, deadlines, annoyances, schedules, and soooooo much more.

These things are constantly shifting, changing, and demanding your attention. And most of the time you move from one thing to the next, just trying to keep up.

You jump from thought to thought, screen to screen, and distraction to distraction. And by the end of the day you just want to sit down with a big glass of wine and put your brain on standby mode.

It’s no wonder. The demands of life can wear your mind and body into a frayed mess. And one of the biggest reasons is this constant movement from one thing to the next.

Switching Cost

The scientific term for this is “switching cost”, which basically means that everytime you go from one thing to another you lose something. You lose a small piece of your attention, time, and energy. When you change tasks your brain isn’t ready, so it t takes it a minute to power down on the old task and then power up on the new one.

If you’ve ever opened one too many applications on your computer at once, then you have a pretty good example of what this feels like.

Everything is going great, and then you open that presentation for work and everything grinds to a hault. Your mouse won’t move, your windows won’t close, and before long you’re pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and praying that you saved some of the items you were working on.

Luckily there’s a way to change this. And it’s all about learning how to slow down and focus. The problem is that there are very few things that are constant, calming, and present. Your life is filled with things screaming for your attention, which is why it’s important to notice the one constant in your life that doesn’t demand much attention at all: the breath.

The Breath

For thousands of years people have used the breath as way to calm and focus the mind. The breath is soothing, rhythmic, ever present, and simple. Your breath has been with you your entire life and will remain with you until the day you die. Your breath is a slow and steady reminder that you’re lucky to be here, you’re lucky to be born, and that you’re lucky to be alive.

Which is why getting to know your breath is so important. One of the biggest barriers to being happy is a lack of space. When your head is full of thoughts, worries, and doubts there simply isn’t enough space: space for gratitude, for peace, for laughter, and for happiness.

This lack of space can not only stress you out, it can literally suffocate your innate ability to be happy. Which is why before we work on anything else, we’re going to work on getting to know your breath.


Below I have created a list of six ways to get to know your breath. Your mission today (if you choose to accept it) is:

  1. Practice – Pick one of the techniques below and practice it
  2. Reflect – Reflect on your experience and write a paragraph or even just a sentence about what you learned. If you want super awesome bonus points write a blog post about your experience. Be sure to include a link or Trackback to this post and/or share your post in the comments below. That way I can read your post and share what you learned with the group.
  3. Share – Share what you learned in one or all of the following ways.
  • Write a Blog Post: Again the more you write about what you learn the more it will sink in. One of the BIG reasons I started this blog was to help myself hold onto the lessons I learned at the monastery.
  • Social Media: You can share something short and sweet like what technique you chose and why or a question or anything else at all.

Please use hashtag #30dayhappy and or share with our Facebook group.

Comments: As always feel free to share in the comments. It’s nice to have your thoughts so close to the post and I love reading about what your learning and absorbing all of your amazing wisdom.

OK now for the techniques:

How To Get To Know Your Breath
There’s more than one way to get to know your breath. Here are six simple techniques:

ONE – 3 Deep Breaths – I have no doubt you’ve heard the advice that you should take 3 deep breaths when you’re feeling angry, upset, or sad as a way to clear your head and your heart. And this is a recommended practice for a reason. Taking a few deep breaths throughout the day can slow your heart rate, clear your head, and help you focus on what’s important.

So whenever you notice you’re getting frantic, overwhelmed, anxious, or angry.
Pause. And take 3 DEEP BREATHS.
Push all the air out of your lungs. Pause.
Fill yourself up. Pause.

TWO – Thankful Breath – TV and the Internet are so goog at constantly reminding you of what you don’t have, it’s easy to forget what you do have.
So before you eat, before you go to bed, or before you start your workday.
Pause. And take a few thankful breaths.
Breathe and feel thankful for the food you are about to eat.
Breathe and feel thankful that you have work to do.
Breathe and feel thankful for all the amazing people in your life.

THREE – Vibrant Breath – Another great time to notice breath is when you are exercising.
As you move notice the power of your breath.
Notice how your breathing matches your steps or movements.
If you’re lifting weights, notice how the breath holds you and gives you strength.
As you breathe, feel the life flowing through your veins.

FOUR – Letting Go Breath – Sometimes when we get stressed out, we hold our breath. It can be hard to notice, but if you pay attention you’ll feel your breath as shallow, sharp, and tight.

So whenever you feel this or whenever you transition from one space to the next practice taking a few letting go breaths.
Breathe and let go of your work as you step out of the office.
Breathe and let go of your day as you slide underneath the covers.
Breathe and let go of that difficult conversation as you get off the phone.

FIVE – Waking Breath – If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, breathing can help you greet the day.

Get out of bed and take several deep breaths. As you do feel your body waking up.
Feel your brain drinking in the crisp morning air.
Feel your eyes opening and as day begins.
Breath your life in deep gulps as you prepare to start the day.

SIX – Meditative Breath – Meditation on the Breath is one of the purest and simplest ways to experience your life. It may also be more challenging than these other practices.

Meditation on the breath is simple. All you need to do is find a comfortable position.
If you’re in a chair, sit on the front half. So that your feet are firmly on the ground and your knees are slightly below your hips.
Place your hands on your knees gently.
Sit up straight and look either straight ahead or slightly down.
Focus your eyes on one area and relax your gaze.
Now pause and take a deep breath.
Let go of what was before and set the intention to spend a few moments with your breath.
Then breathe in fully, letting your lungs fill completely but without forcing air in.
As you exhale take your attention as if it were a finger and place it on your breath.
As you breathe out imagine you are drawing this finger of attention across the surface of the breath.
At the bottom of your breath lift your attention and let the breath fill yourself fully.
At the top, Pause, place a finger of attention down and begin to exhale.
As you trace your breath notice it’s texture, it’s depth, it’s subtle qualities.
At the bottom lift, fill, and repeat.
Continue breathing in this way, focusing on the texture of your breath one exhale at a time.

Your #1 goal or intention it to notice one exhale, that’s it. Not to pay attention or stay focused for 100 breaths or even for 5 mins. Each exhale is a new challenge a new chance to be with your breath.

If your mind begins to wander that’s totally ok.
Everyone’s minds wander. Let me say that again.

If your mind doesn’t wander it’s likely you are a robot and you should report to your homebase now for recharging and reprogramming.

If you find your mind wandering that’s totally ok. Just notice it. Let it go and come back to the breath.

Remember each new exhale is a chance to focus.
If you only notice one exhale that’s success.
If you only notice a half an exhale that’s success.
If you notice that focusing on your breath is hard because your mind is distracted that’s success.


Be Free, Organized, and Happy – The Best Posts May – July

#BP Dog and Mac WB - CMH

Be Free, Organized, and Happy – The Best Posts May – July

The last 3 months have been really big for MindFitMove –
This blog has moved from 1,200 views in April to having over 6,000 views in July
In July I broke through not only the 10,000 view barrier but have now blasted past the 15,000 mark as well.

So here are the best posts of the Last 3 Months:

Plus here are some of the guest posts I wrote in the last 3 Months

I have many people to thank for this including but not limited to Jane Endacott my romantic partner and often editor, my parents, Lori Deschene of TinyBuddha, Peter Clemens of ChangeBlog, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, and most importantly all of my readers who inspire, support, and keep honoring me with their attention.

Don’t Forget to Subscribe to Mind Fit Move for more great post from August and Beyong

Click here to join hundreds of people who receive regular posts from MindFitMove about changing your life with mindfulness and movement.
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Minimalist Mindful Fitness – 5 Key Practices

#BP Fitness_Model_Britt_2007 mindful fitness, mindfulness based personal training, mindfulness based life coaching, mindfulness meditation, mindfulness based stress reduction ,mindfulness exercises, mindfulness training, mindful,meditation, mindfulness, mindful eating, what is mindfulness, mindfulness techniques, zen meditation, benefits of meditation, what is meditation, mediation, be mindful, free meditation, mindfulness, mindfulness stress, mind body fitness, mind and body fitness, mindfulness practice, practice mindfulness, mindfulness at work body and mind fitnessMinimalist Mindful Fitness – 5 Key Practices

(Avg. Reading time 4.5 Mins)

What the Hell is Mindful Fitness Anyway?
Recently I received this question from one of my readers:
“What activities and/or cues have you found to be most helpful in incorporating mindfulness into your clients’ activities? Walking, breathing, something more meaningful to each person? Do you have an activity that you tend to start with to introduce that concept?”

First off, I want to say this is a great question. Many people struggle with how to start practicing mindfulness and/or fitness with so many fitness options the possibilities can be a bit overwhelming.

So here is my
Minimalist Mindful Fitness Guide –
5 Key Practices to Get Your Started.

1. Intention –
The first practice I start with most of my clients is identifying their list of internal and external goals. We look at how many pounds they want to lose or how many miles the want to run, but we don’t stop there.

We also look at how they want to feel and what they think losing weight or getting in shape will do for them. By looking at their intentions first, they connect with deep motivations and a sense of purpose.

2. Journaling –
The second practice I recommend for all my clients is journaling. Many people trying to make a life change struggle with judgments, self doubt, and internal criticism. The purpose of journaling is to increase awareness without judgment.

I have my clients record a very basic journal of what they eat, what activity they do, and their state of mind. I also ask them to notice any connection between these three. Lastly, I encourage them to write down one thing everyday they are grateful for.

I do this before we start with any exercise or nutrition plan. Because I want them to just notice what’s going on.

Often without any prompting, they will identify ways they are sabotaging themselves or areas where they need to do some investigation.

Because this wisdom comes from within these revelations are much more powerful than anything, they’ve read in a book or heard from a trainer.

3. Habit Formation
Many trainers have a particular exercise regime or nutrition plan they employ with clients. But I believe the best nutrition and exercise plan is the one you will actually do.

The main problem with most diet and exercise plans is they demand too radical change too quickly. The main goal of the MindFitMove method is not to help you lose weight or gain muscle.

Let me repeat that again because I know it sounds crazy. The main goal of MindFitMove method is not to help you lose weight or gain muscle.

The main goal of this mindfulness based fitness approach is to help you create more awareness and then use that awareness to make different choices.

The first two practices help establish a baseline awareness. In habit formation we take that awareness and start making change a reality.

First, I find what that person likes to do and get them to do more of that. I believe that if it doesn’t fit smoothly in your life you won’t do it.

For example, I had one client who liked riding his bike so I got him to ride his bike up a steep hill 3 times a week. I had another client who lived next to a lovely park so I got them to walk and eventually jog in that park.

The hardest part of regular exercise is the regular part. By finding, a physical activity you enjoy or at least don’t despise. You vastly increase your chance for success.

4. Set the Stage
Once we’ve established baseline awareness and started creating new habits then we work with specific mindful fitness techniques.

The fundamental mindful fitness technique is creating an environment for mindfulness.

I encourage my clients to exercise outside, to exercise without the use of music, and to exercise with the intention to focus on their bodies.

These 3 techniques all help create an environment of mindfulness. And though they don’t require a ton of concentration. They do lay the groundwork for intense focus and spacious awareness.

5. Active Mindfulness – 4 Mindful Fitness Techniques
Once we’ve established an environment of mindfulness, then we use advanced mindfulness based fitness techniques to increase awareness and focus during exercise.

I’ve used these 4 mindful fitness techniques in my own practice as well as with my clients.

1. Noticing before and after –
At the end of your work out take a minute close your eyes and focus on how you feel now vs. how you felt before you exercised. This practice helps connect us with the ease that exercise can bring. It also tunes us in to any aches that may indicate any problem areas we need to work on.

2. Cadence –
Cadence is the rate at which your feet hit the ground when running, or the speed that your pedals turnover in cycling. When practicing with cadence we simply notice how it changes as we exercise.

Cadence helps us in two ways:
One. It helps us tune into our bodies natural rhythms
Two. Working to maintain a fast even cadence will decrease injuries and increase speed and efficiency.

3. Pay attention to sound –
The world is filled with sounds we never notice. But when we open our sense, we often find joy in the sound of chirping birds and the even pad of our feet on the trail.

In addition to enjoying our natural environment, sound can also reveal imbalances in our exercise form.

For example, I’ve noticed, as I get tired my footsteps get louder. Louder footsteps means higher impact and lowered efficiency. So, by working to run quietly I increase my speed and decrease the stress on my body.

4. Breath-
Breath practice often gives us cues about how we are approaching exercise and our life in general. No matter what the activity, noticing our breath can help us perform with greater skill and confidence.

In yoga, the breath helps us move the body in an even rhythm. In endurance events like running and cycling, our breath tells us when we are pushing too hard or moving out of sync. And in weight lifting, our breath not only helps us connect to movement, but also works to stabilize and strengthen our bodies.

Simply Amazing
There are 1000’s of books on fitness and eating, but most of them overcomplicate everything with complex theories and complicated techniques. What’s so amazing about these practices is how simple they are.

Using just these 5 practices people can make amazing progress towards establishing a mindfulness based fitness practice.

Mindful fitness isn’t about taking one model and applying it to everyone. It’s about establishing principles and then investigating how those principles apply to your life.

Because of that, no two people will ever approach mindfulness based fitness the same way. But it also means that this practice can adapt and change as you change. It can become an organic part of your own growth and that’s why it’s such an amazing tool for lasting transformation.

Thanks very much to Kelsey for sending in this question. Kelsey has been one of my best and most loyal readers from the beginning of my blog. She is an awesome physical therapist and super cool lady.

If there is a question, you have please feel free to leave it below or email me and I’ll do my best to address it in one of my future posts.

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