Mindfulness = Awareness, Passion & Focus
We’ve all heard of mindfulness. It’s become a buzzword in our culture often dismissed immediately into images of new age gurus and their followers chanting blissfully, defining themselves as spiritually enlightened ~ which means we aren’t. We roll our eyes and shake our heads and never look beyond the grooviness package pedaled in the marketplace. Madison Avenue looks for every possible way to get into our pocketbooks to fool us into feeling good about ourselves.
As a fitness professional, you’re in the business of helping people feel good about themselves in a genuine way. As a mind/body/spirit coach I am here to tell you that you’re missing the boat for yourself, your clients and your business if you don’t integrate the elements of mindfulness working with your clients. Let’s look at the definition of mindfulness from Merriam Webster:
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
- a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
- the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also: such a state of awareness
Thank you, Merriam Webster. Goes straight to the heart of mindfulness. Nothing woo woo about it. Mindfulness is about awareness ~ of everything around you and within you. It’s a way of being fully present in your life. The busyness of our days is the thief of mindfulness.
From the moment we open our eyes to the time we finally rest our heads on our pillows we are catching up to ourselves. Responsibilities we carry, feelings of obligation, wanting to have fun, can all lead to being overscheduled, stressed, exhausted, and not truly aware of how we walk through our days. We’re on autopilot. Have you ever driven somewhere and not really remembered how you got there?
Do you remember why you decided to become a fitness professional? What brought you here? Remembering your Why is the first step in bringing mindfulness to your training. In the midst of all the energy you spend on building your business, training clients, teaching classes, continuing to build your knowledge base, as well as your life outside the gym, it’s easy to forget what led you to commit to this work. Burn out is common and often leads to second guessing your choices. Go back to square one…identify your Why, allow yourself to feel the emotion of your Why as a way of keeping your passion alive, feel it front and center everyday, inspiring you to bring your best game to each training session. Your full presence and focus..
Here are steps to help you identify and connect with your Why:
- Get comfortable. Sit in a chair with both feet on the floor, or lie on the floor face up.
- Close your eyes.
- Take several deep breaths and feel your body relax into the chair or floor.
- Think back to the time when you first thought about the idea that you could become a Fitness Professional and reflect on the following questions:
- What were you doing at the time?
- Who were you with?
- Where were you?
- How did you decide/know that you had the desire to become a Trainer?
- When did you realize–or did you realize–that you wanted to help people?
- When and how did you commit to the profession? How did it feel?
- Where did you feel it in your body?
- What was your initial goal when you set out? Has it changed?
- Of the answers to the questions above, choose the strongest image/feeling that embodies Why you chose to enter the Fitness Profession as a Personal Trainer.
- Create a word or short phrase that embodies or recreates this moment for you. Or attach the memory of the moment to a small token like a stone or a coin or a pin you can carry in your pocket or wear on your shirt.
- The more you allow yourself to feel this moment and attach it to a phrase or an object, the more powerful and useful your Why will become.
- Practice bringing the feeling and the phrase/token into your awareness.
Once you have identified your Why you can begin applying it mindfully in your sessions with clients…or during moments when you could use the boost of a reminder.
Using your Why as a touchstone–before, during and after your day–is an effective and intentional way to practice mindfulness in the gym. Reminding yourself why you became a Fitness Professional before you head out onto the floor releases a powerful emotional response that can bring you more energized and focused into the present moment; it can give you a boost and help you zero-in on the specific needs of each individual client. Your Why can also help you as you examine the end of a session or day and run through a checklist of what went well, what was challenging and how you can improve the sessions.
Hold fast to your passion. When you live and lead from your heart, genuine inspiration will guide you in knowing exactly how to craft that business plan you’ve been wrestling with in alignment with what is most important to you, your energy level will feel a boost and you will pass inspiration along to your client. They will want what you’ve got. And it has nothing to do with your high budget kicks, latest hoodie or your cut abs ~ they will feel your impassioned spirit ~ thriving in what makes your come alive. Your Why.
In our online course “The Mindful Trainer”, we provide you with all the secrets of how to use your “Why” to boost your connections with your clients and ultimately the culture of your business. You will inspire and motivate individuals to be the best versions of themselves through being present and intentional in their acts on and off the gym floor. Check out the class here: https://elearning.nationalpti.org/courses/the-mindful-trainer/