the little red book of mindfulness

Full-stop Reset: The Little Red Book of Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is not hard to understand.

Understanding mindfulness is not mindfulness.

Practicing mindfulness in your daily life is a process, a habit, that once you embrace and understand can make significant improvements in your quality of life and even your health.

Full-stop Reset

When everything feels out of balance, take a pause.

Resetting your goals is a powerful tool. The full-stop is related, but a bit different.

I often get overwhelmed with too many opportunities to do cool stuff. What I mean is, my brain loves to jump to new and *more exciting* projects. Like, I want to start a live band to support my next album. I want to go on a book tour and get a large publisher to pay for it. I want to be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but I’m not famous for anything. Yet. What are my options?


In this moment of pause just listen to your desires. Listen to your body. Listen to your feelings of purpose. If you can’t hear yourself and your body, you’re not going to be able to provide the nourishment and encouragement that is needed. Let’s pull apart a few of my big ideas and see how Full-stop is my best choice.

Writer: I’ve been writing this blog for over 12 years. Why was my Today Show appearance never aired? What am I going to have to do to get Oprah to notice my well-written and heartfelt books? Do I need an agent? Do I need a publicist? Do I need a mentor in the business?

TV Series Creator: I’ve been building ideas and material for a tv series based on being a good dad even after divorce. What do I need to do to get this one launched? Do I need to invest my own money? Take out a loan? Do a Kickstarter program? How can I leverage my best friend’s wife, who’s an executive at Sony?

Career: Okay, so I’m doing well in this area at the moment. High-profile job. New term in my job title that gives me more currency in today’s market. And the best part, I’m not looking for a job, I have one. But, when is my work going to bust me loose from the grind? Even my great job is a job. I want to make movies, write books, speak on international stages and have someone else pay for it.

Okay, that’s enough. And these are parts of my creative life that drive me on. I am hoisted from the bed each morning around 6 am not because I have *work* to do. Not because I have to hustle to get to a menial job. I do like coffee, yes, but the real reason I get out of bed is: I am excited for my life and the future joy that this day (today) will bring. But, I’m also hoping to woo the gods of fame and fortune to take notice of my projects, my life’s work, my heroism.


When I take a full-stop break from all of this striving, I find that I am HAPPY RIGHT NOW. I don’t need more money. I don’t need a healthier relationship. I don’t need to be a famous writer or tv series creator. If I stop and count my blessings along with my breaths, I can feel the joy in the simple being of myself in my life at this moment. I am connected. I am loved. I am happy. What more success do I need to make me happy? ZERO.

If you’re happy with what you are doing and you wake up on Monday morning with optimism rather than dread, you are doing it right. If fame is elusive and frustrating, reset your goals. You’re already happy, let the *fame* and *fortune* parts take come as they will. Don’t wait for the accomplishment to feel accomplished. I remember pitching my first book “The Positive Divorce.” The agents and book publishers wanted to know what other books I’d written. Did I have a platform? What was my marketing plan for the book? Oh, and *divorce* doesn’t sell these days.

Don’t listen to the overwhelming parts of your life. Keep your eyes focused on your big goals and make sure your efforts during the course of a given week, move that marker a bit further forward. Live you life. Write your books. Sing your songs. And if the market comes to reward you with fame and fortune, great. But, if you are happy living your life, the success will not matter.

Your success is already happening inside you. Smile. Love. Proceed.

Listening to myself while breathing.



John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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