Melissa Steginus is a productivity and wellness specialist and author of the new book, Everyday Mindfulness: 108 Simple Practices to Empower Yourself and Transform Your Life.
Her motto is that “your time and energy are your most precious resources” and—through her books, courses, workshops, and coaching services—she helps people structure their work and lives to spend more of those resources on what matters. Melissa’s unique approach blends time, task, and energy management with self-care and mindfulness to serve her ultimate goal: to help others live more intentional, empowering, and fulfilling lives.
Everyday Mindfulness is a simple yet powerful tool for those interested in living with greater intention. The book is a collection of 108 simple mindfulness practices, with explanations of the purpose behind each practice, and over 300 reflection questions that encourage profound self-exploration and transformative action. It aims to make mindfulness simple and practical so you can live with greater clarity, intention, and purpose—whatever your schedule or spiritual beliefs.
Readers move through six areas of life—Physical, Emotional, Rational, Spiritual, Occupation, and Network—to cultivate and experience a holistic personal transformation:
- Physical: Listen to and reconnect with your body
- Emotional: Understand and trust your feelings
- Rational: Observe thoughts to gain mental clarity
- Spiritual: Explore questions around personal truth
- Occupation: Identify and invest in your priorities
- Network: Nourish relationships that add to your life
Each of these six sections has 18 exercises to help you reclaim, redefine, and realize your untapped potential within that area of your life. According to Author, Melissa Steginus, “You already have the inner resources you need to empower yourself, cultivate fulfillment, and transform your life, but you have to do the work to recognize and tap into these resources and your potential. That’s what this book is all about.”
Published on October 25, 2020, the book’s simple design and refreshingly down-to-earth approach to mindfulness continues to spark international interest and yield praise from experts in fields related to personal development. Hal Elrod, bestselling author of The Miracle Morning and The Miracle Equation, has formally endorsed the book, calling it “a must-have tool for anyone seeking a rich and fulfilled life.” Highlighting the book’s practical application, Elrod says, “Everyday Mindfulness bridges the gap between knowledge and action. This book will encourage you to be active and engaged in your life and will empower you to create the changes you want to see.”
For those interested in a sample, Melissa Steginus has offered excerpts from the book’s introduction and each of its six sections.
What it means to be mindful, p. 2
Mindfulness is about paying attention with intention. Powerful things happen when you take a moment to fully observe your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and surroundings. You begin to recognize what it means to be alive—to think, to feel, to exist in an infinite universe filled with infinite possibilities. When you give your full attention to the world around you and the one within you, you gain a deep appreciation for your existence, and you learn how to access the profound insights and wisdom you hold. You expand your consciousness, or rather, you tap into the full consciousness that already lies within you.
To be mindful is to embody this consciousness, to live your life in accordance with the realization that you’re alive. This process doesn’t have to be revolutionary. In fact, as you cultivate the simple yet profound practice of paying attention, most days might feel quite ordinary. This is because the transformative power of mindfulness lies in practice. You can use your daily tasks and routines to immerse yourself in the present moment and appreciate the wonder of your existence—if you pay attention.
Examples from each section of the book
PHYSICAL — DAY 13: BUILD A MORNING ROUTINE
PURPOSE: Rather than giving in to the temptation of pressing snooze repeatedly, use a mindful morning routine to slowly ease into your day. While it may not sound as enticing as those few extra minutes of sleep, your morning routine will be much more valuable. Begin as you intend to continue: mindfully. Start with a mindful routine, and you will carry mindfulness with you throughout your day.
PRACTICE: If you don’t already have a morning routine, try these five simple steps:
- When your alarm goes off the first time, sit up and turn on a light or quietly head into another room.
- Take a deep breath, smile, and express gratitude for a new day.
- Set an intention for the day (“Today, I will be, practice, or focus on ________”).
- Think of one thing you can do today to live out your intention and commit to doing it.
- If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to crawl out of bed. Move slowly, do some stretches, and make yourself a healthy breakfast.
EMOTIONAL — DAY 30: EXPRESS YOURSELF
PURPOSE: Self-expression is essential to awareness and love, especially since many of us spend so much time fitting into roles and boxes defined by others. Express yourself by doing something that makes you feel authentically you. You define yourself, and you do this by engaging in what makes you feel connected and fulfilled.
PRACTICE: Spend 30 minutes on an activity that brings you closer to yourself by making you feel happy and in your element. Sing and dance to your favorite album, paint a picture, do yoga, or get your hands dirty in the garden. Whatever the activity, focus on what it feels like, rather than what it might look like (especially the dancing!). Have fun with being uniquely you.
RATIONAL — DAY 41: WRITE YOUR PRIORITIES
PURPOSE: Pay attention to what you want, and you will invest more time and energy into it. As you know from the previous mention of the Law of Attraction, clearly identifying what you value and desire is essential to living your ideals. Writing down what matters to you is a great first step, as it gives you clarity, keeps you accountable, and allows you to reflect on your progress.
PRACTICE: Today is all about exploring what deeply matters to you. Dig into today’s questions to explore your personal priorities and plan how to pursue them. Resist the temptation to edit your thoughts and ideas as you answer each question. Simply write the first few things that come to mind and see where it takes you!
SPIRITUAL — DAY 63: MEDITATE ON BEAUTY
PURPOSE: Seeking and appreciating the beauty around you is a powerful and refreshing practice for your mind and spirit. Meditation, like mindfulness, is about paying attention. Meditating on something you find beautiful or peaceful deepens your appreciation for these things and trains your brain to recognize beauty and peace in your life.
PRACTICE: Find something beautiful and focus your attention on it (but try not to stare at strangers!). Light a candle and spend a few minutes watching it flicker and dance. Go for a walk and observe the life that surrounds you: trees, flowers, birds, clouds, or people. Or practice yoga, noticing your breath and the way your body moves and flows. Choose anything you find beautiful or peaceful and bask in the wonder of it.
OCCUPATION — DAY 81: SET BOUNDARIES
PURPOSE: Saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to another. If you constantly put others first by saying “yes” to their wants and needs before your own, you’ll find your priorities pushed so far back that you can barely see them! Setting clear boundaries and expectations—with others and yourself—ensures that you say “yes” to your priorities.
PRACTICE: Exercise your personal accountability by reflecting on the goals and priorities you previously mapped out; keep these visible and let them guide your decisions. For instance, when an opportunity arises, ask yourself if it clearly resonates with your big-picture goals. If it does, you’ll know to explore it; if it does not, turn it down.
When you say “no,” be polite but firm. Here are some examples of how to kindly but effectively decline:
- “Thank you for asking, but I’m unavailable for X.”
- “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I can’t commit to Y.”
- “Z is my priority, and I feel like X and Y conflict with Z.” “Thank you, but I have to decline.”
NETWORK — DAY 103: TRANSFORM SMALL TALK
PURPOSE: Every moment of your day is a chance to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Maybe that’s a bit cliché, but there are plenty of ways to add depth and meaning into your routine. Challenge yourself to see mundane tasks and responsibilities as opportunities for connection (yes, even small talk). You never know what kind of conversation you might spark.
PRACTICE: Focus on creating memorable interactions by humanizing your conversations today. Respond to “How are you?” by recounting a positive story or sharing something personal. Answer “What do you do?” with a list of hobbies and activities, rather than the usual description of your job title.
If you’re up for a challenge, make it your mission to ask someone else a meaningful question:
- “What are you passionate about?”
- “Why did you choose to do that job?”
- “What are you grateful for today?”
To learn more about Everyday Mindfulness and access the free reflection workbooks that accompany the book, visit MelissaSteginus.com/mindful. And once there, be sure to sign up for Melissa’s intentional and very practical newsletter.
Melissa Steginus is a productivity and wellness specialist and author of Everyday Mindfulness. Her mission is to help people work and live “by design versus by default” so they can spend their most precious resources—time and energy—on what matters to them. Learn more about Melissa and sign up for her intentional and practical newsletter at: melissasteginus.com.