Mindfulness Aspirations?

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, March 17, 2021
By Todd D. Giardina, PH. D

Do you aspire to be “mindful” tangibly and practically?

dream catcher

Ask yourself these four questions.  It will give you a well-grounded approach to your day:

1) What do I feel? Just notice and observe. No judgment. What are you physically or emotionally experiencing at this moment? Hungry? Happy? Achy? Angry?

2) What do I desire? Let yourself dream and fantasize without judgment or any sense of reality. You may not get everything you want, but the first step is knowing what’s on the wish list. (Notice – these steps build on one another. If question 1 found you feeling hungry and sad, question 2 may find  you want a triple sundae from the ice cream place your father took you to as a kid.)

3) What do I need? This question is more about what is obtainable and real at the moment. A bit more focused on the urgent rather than the wishful thinking.  Maybe more about duty than pleasure. For example, I need to do laundry. I need to call the plumber. I need medicine for my stomach ache.

4) What can I do? This question boils down the previous three into an action item for the day or week. Based on what you feel, what you desire, and what you need, let that guide your actions to what is most fitting in a tangible, controllable way. Now you are acting with mindful intention. (And that large ice cream sundae is a conscious choice to enjoy rather than an unconscious impulse for which you may later judge yourself.)

So tune in. Listen to your gut. It will vary from moment to moment and day to day. By mindfully checking in, we can learn to pivot. We can manage expectations and feel more in control.

You will start to see patterns. And learn to plug or walk around holes. With more mindful checking in, you can see things sooner, so your feelings and actions become more proactive and less reactive.

Now pause and reflect.


“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” – Dr. Seuss

Mountains and sunrise