SA­MARA ZEL­NIKER

FOUNDER OF MINDFULNESS MAT­TERS, LEAD­ER­SHIP TRAIN­ING EX­PERT AND CELEBRITY SUC­CESS COACH

Surf Girl - - My Surfgirl Life -

To me, the act of be­ing mind­ful is the abil­ity to choose my thoughts and not to re­act on im­pulse. Mindfulness is that split sec­ond where we stop our­selves from say­ing some­thing that we know will be hurt­ful to the per­son on the re­ceiv­ing end. It is the abil­ity to de­cide not to do some­thing we know we will re­gret, like hav­ing that last bite of dessert, an ex­tra glass of wine or pur­chas­ing yet an­other hand­bag we don’t ac­tu­ally need.

In my life, mindfulness rep­re­sents the abil­ity to cre­ate space in or­der to live a life that I choose. Through mindfulness prac­tices, I have been able to cre­ate the life of my dreams. This isn’t some­thing tan­gi­ble, like tak­ing a tablet to soothe a headache. Rather it is some­thing that takes shape in a beau­ti­ful way, over time and with con­sis­tent prac­tice.

One way I ap­ply mindfulness to my life is with grat­i­tude prac­tice – I like to write out three things a day that I am grate­ful for. I write th­ese in my jour­nal af­ter my med­i­ta­tion prac­tice as part of my morn­ing rit­ual. Not only is this an in­cred­i­bly ground­ing prac­tice, it also helps to rewire the neu­ral path­ways in our brain so that we nat­u­rally see things more pos­i­tively. Grat­i­tude works by light­ing up the brain’s re­ward path­way and the sim­ple act of do­ing or think­ing of some­thing that you are grate­ful for floods your brain with pos­i­tive chem­i­cals and sparks brain ac­tiv­ity.

Spend­ing time in na­ture also helps me to put things into per­spec­tive. Be­cause it is so vast, it re­minds me of how small I re­ally am and how in­signif­i­cant my prob­lems re­ally are. Th­ese are con­tin­ued daily prac­tices that I ad­here to and work with my clients to es­tab­lish. Time ex­pands when we learn to stay pre­sent, be thank­ful and en­joy the beau­ti­ful view.

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