Are You MindFULL or Mindful?

My name is Mitch Isaacs, and I am overcommitted.

I am the executive director of a nonprofit and serve as an officer for three of the five board of directors on which I sit. I volunteer as a Big Brother, a Project Leadership Mentor, and the president of my neighborhood association. More importantly, I am a husband, a father, a son, and a friend. 

I love being involved (and wouldn’t have it any other way), but at times, I feel like a browser with too many tabs open. Can you relate? Do you struggle to balance your personal and professional aspirations? 

When our mind is full of things we have to do, there is no space to be the things we are. 

How Mindfulness Helps

So, what’s the answer? We could all use a refresher on time management best practices, sure. And sometimes, you have to make some difficult choices to cut out or reduce your commitments, but among all the solutions lies the ancient practice of meditation and mindfulness.

For thousands of years, people across the globe have used meditation and mindfulness to manage stress and seek clarity, and modern science has started to embrace these practices as part of a healthy, well-balanced life. Recent studies suggest mediation can:

1) Boost your immune system (see here)

2) Decrease your stress (see here)

3) Reduce distractions (see here)

4) Lower your heart rate and blood pressure (see here)

5) Provide clarity (see here)

Proven Results In My Life

If you would have said “meditation” around me a year ago, I would have pictured a person sitting crossed legged, wearing robes, sporting unkempt hair and repeating “oommmmm….” But then I tried it and opened myself up to learning more, after which I realized there are forms of meditation and approaches to mindfulness for everyone (so, not all poses and mantras).

Since incorporating meditation into my daily routine, my resting heart rate has gone down (ask my Apple Watch), I better manage disagreements with loved ones, and it’s easier for me to find clarity in the middle of a busy day at Shafer Leadership Academy. 

To help others see the benefits of mindfulness in their own lives, I reached Ball State University Counselors Amanda McErlean and Timothy Hess to lead an engaging and interactive mindfulness session during a free lunch and learn from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 16, at the Innovation Connector. I had planned to plug the session in this blog post, but two days after posting it in an email, it was full. This reinforced we need to make more of these types of sessions available to our leaders in East Central Indiana.

Maybe It Can Help You Too

Meditation is not limited to mystical yogis, and a basic understanding of the practice just scratches the surface. As I said, learning more about meditation and mindfulness reveal there is an approach for people of all ages, backgrounds, personality types, and schedules.

There’s no magic pill to fix “over-committed,” but creating the space to better understand ourselves, our goals, and our tendencies is a start. It’s worked for me, and it can work for you.

Please reach out with ideas or hopes for future Shafer Leadership Academy programming related to mindfulness and meditation. I’m excited to hear your ideas!

Namaste.

Click here to learn how you can bring mindfulness to your organization!


About the author:

Mitch Isaacs was named Shafer Leadership Academy’s Executive Director in May 2015. In this role, he works closely with the organization’s board of directors to fulfill the mission of the organization. He is responsible for creating vision, connecting with stakeholders, administering program offerings and leading the organization in meaningful ways.  Learn more about Mitch »