As part of our Mindful in May series we reached out to some of our favorite mindfulness mentors on tips to help you start, develop, nurture, and maintain a mindfulness practice. 

When I first tried to start a mindfulness and meditation practice I had many self defeating thoughts and reasons about why I was not be able to do so.  I made lots of excuses for myself not starting a practice like:

"I'm too busy, I don't have time to meditate."

"My mind is always racing with thoughts I will never be able to sit in silence and stop thinking."

'I'm too much of a Type A personality to start a mindfulness practice."

I finally made the time and decision with the intention to help myself deal with the anxiety and stress in my life and committed to starting a mindfulness and meditation practice.  This decision changed my life and led to me starting Mala and Mantra seven years ago.  My intention for our brand is to help provide others with mindfulness tools to contribute positively to their overall well-being including their mental well-being.  

I interviewed our friend and mindfulness author and teacher, Dr. Elisha Goldstein on starting a mindfulness practice.  I hope you find these tips and information helpful and are inspired to start a practice if you have been thinking about it.

Elisha Goldstein, PhD  is one of the world's preeminent mindfulness teachers, a clinical psychologist, founder of the Mindful Living Collective, and creator of the new life-changing mentorship program, Uncover the Power Within.

Elisha's tips on starting a mindfulness practice:

JPC:  Why do you suggest if someone has been interested in starting a mindfulness practice but has always been intimidated to do so they begin?

EG:  Start small.  Allow yourself to be playful with it.  Don't be afraid to talk about it, see if anyone you know has dabbled in it in the past and what they've noticed.  Ask yourself what you CAN do and start there.  Maybe it's just a couple minutes on an app, allowing yourself to be guided.  Ultimately, to make it stick, it's most helpful to find a community of other, a mentor you trust and create a plan that seems do-able :)

JPC:  What are the most important things to remember when beginning a mindfulness practice?

EG:  Just practicing being aware is an act of loving yourself.  It's saying my life is important enough to pay attention to.  Keep it simple, stay curious and be very forgiving to yourself when you stray from your intentions.  You can always begin again.

JPC:  When struggling with having so many thoughts running through my mind while trying to practice presence, how do I return to being in the present moment?

EG:  take note of it, that puts the power back in our hands.  Take a deep breath and release the busy-ness and any tension in your body.  Begin again.  Repeat that last suggestion several million times :). 

Learn more about our mindfulness mentor, Elisha Goldstein here 

Elisha is also the Creator of the Mindful Living Collective, learn more about this amazing online community and gathering place for like-minded souls about mindful living and learning here