There is Strength in Numbers

This journey to create a mindfulness community at work can get pretty lonely. I started looking around for others, like me, who were driven to change the climate and culture of their professional worlds. Recently, I traveled to New York and attended a workshop with amazing internal champions, folk who are working diligently within their workplace to cultivate a mindfulness culture. I engaged, collaborated, and learned about best practices with people from diverse backgrounds. My feelings of loneliness quickly vanished when I arrived at the Garrison Institute and engaged in the first session of “Creating a Culture of Mindfulness at Work” facilitated by Mindful Leader.

The weekend at the Garrison Institute was rejuvenating, as I was able to interact, collaborate, and learn from 37 other passionate souls who were determined to make a difference in the lives of others. I went there hoping to grow both personally and professionally—to make new friendships and connections with like minded folks. I was not disappointed. My moments there were filled with great conversations, laughter, tears, stillness, hope, and love. I honestly felt like I was with family as I listened to stories of accomplishments and failures. Some of those failures led to new opportunities and great successes. Each member offered personal insights and gems of wisdom from his or her specific journey. Even though there were seasoned internal champions in the room, no one claimed to be the expert and the hours spent were precious, and meaningful, exploring new ideas with optimism and encouragement.

As a novice researcher, I had questions about metrics, buy-in, and program implementation outside of the world of academic advising. I realized I was not alone; there were many other champions struggling with program implementation and gaining employee buy-in. While it was a wonderful opportunity to learn from others, I too was able to share my wisdom and offer suggestions on how to move forward. When the retreat ended, the momentum was motivating, and new goals were set to forge ahead sharing mindfulness.

I returned home recalibrated and full of energy. I finished my longitudinal research study (currently under review), taught several mindfulness session to advisors, and continue to explore more ways to incorporate mindfulness into higher education, specifically within academic advising.

No matter what field you work in, there are ways to incorporate mindfulness moments into the day. It takes intentional effort and consistency to develop a mindfulness practice. It only takes a little more energy to share the practice with others. It may seem impossible and like you are all alone, but you are not.

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