Mindfulness, An Ally During Career Transition

By Ken Bambace, Founder of the Heart's Intelligence

Imagine what it would be like if we had some control over Nature. Envision the power we would possess if we could recharge or even increase the energy of our inner battery. Try to sense how, in your body, it would feel if we had even just a little more space or objectivity in reactive situations where we normally get triggered, tense up and contract.Take a moment now and really try to imagine; visualize what your life will look like when you become a master of your own nature.  

Balancing Wishes
Photo Credit: Ken Bambace

A Day in the Life

Before we explore the amazingly simple, scientifically proven dynamic power that mindfulness practice brings, let’s take a look at a typical day in your life. Morning comes and our brain registers all that is encompassed simply by the sound that our alarm brings. Automatically, like the unconscious action of our normal breathing or heartbeat, our mind begins to engage and we’re thrown into a stream of associative thoughts which are seemingly harmless. And this all happens before our feet even hit the floor. While moving through our morning ritual of washing up and preparing for another day at the computer job-hunting, sending out emails to companies and recruiters, our sensation (the way our body actually feels) seems non-existent if only just barely there. We feel the pull of desire to check our phone and reply to that text from last night.Or maybe we’re running through a variety of scenarios in our head, with the belief that each scenario is a real possibility, checking our emotions to judge the positive or negative feelings that accompany these imaginary outcomes, despite our intuitive sense that the future is rarely, if ever, predictable.

The Connection to Career Transition

As we prepare to reenter the workplace with so many preparations and visions of how our lives will be so different from the way it has been, we can sense a tightening or tensing up of our bodies in the chair; our shoulders higher than necessary, our breathing more shallow, with an outward focus; energy moving away from us until the reserves we generated from last night’s rest are depleted. These feelings and sensations are a clear indicator that we are experiencing some of the subtle effects of the stress response. Maybe it’s that resume that needs more work, with financial pressures looming overhead, or a feeling that I am doing more procrastinating then I would like, that get us all tensed up and stressed. And we still have an entire day of tasks ahead of us! It is not just draining, but distracting, and the way our own nature deals with this is by engaging habitual stress patterns that, over time lead to discontent and even disease. With nothing but our habitual patterns of thought at our disposal we are defenseless and our inner battery takes the brunt of these physiological effects. Gone unchecked, it’s likely and common that we have nothing left to support or empower us for the real, unimagined challenges ahead of us in this very normal day.

An Ally in Mindfulness

We need a strategy; an ally to guide us. Having a daily mindfulness practice can be that ally; a force to support our movement upstream into the normal, everyday chaos at work and in life. Mindfulness can be seen as a tool or strategy that, once put into practice, wakes us up and allows us to shift our attention inward, activating our intuition, vital energy and, as a result, freedom to choose alternative paths that empower instead of our natural routines that confound, constrict and even condemn us.

Focusing Inward

Let’s take for example something as simple and present as our breath. It is one of the doorways that opens us up to a host of forces that are normally overlooked and underrated. Here is where we come to learn the importance of having a wish or intention. By planting, nourishing and tending to the wish to be present - to remember our breath - we are feeding the seed in that garden we call our mind-body. Sow the seed that has been planted and remember to feel (as deeply as is possible for you today) your wish to remember yourself.

Turn your attention inward and begin. Instead of looking to the mind for answers, more information, or another review of what usually happened in the past, you relinquish this false sense of control for a more present and available guide that is already part of you, and connects you to all the systems in your body, revealing your true self in this moment. In this moment, you simply breathe. But what’s different about this breathing is that it’s done consciously, intentionally, acting as the master gardener tending to her valuable harvest. One breath in, a bit deeper than usual. The exhale, in full; from the top of the inhalation all the way through, releasing the toxins and impurities from your body; and then beginning again.

We have learned over the past 30 years of research that by incorporating a short mindfulness practice for even 10 minutes each morning you can rewire your brain in as short a time as three weeks, to think and act differently. Instead of listening to that inner voice that tells you that you will be happy only after you land that job you desire, set an intention to experience happiness first, then you can attract the kind of energy necessary to accomplish even the most difficult tasks.

About Ken Bambace

After his first awakening experience more than 30 years ago, Ken began traveling the world in pursuit of knowledge, teachers, and adventures.  Now, after spending 20 years training corporate executives, he is empowering people with science-based tools that are simple yet powerful and can transform all the energy that is wasted on stress to positive energy that can be used for gaining optimal performance, resilience, self-mastery and ultimately true happiness. You can find more information on Ken and The Heart's Intelligence at http://www.theheartsintelligence.com/.