Mindfulness is the practice of being awake, learning to inhabit your life, and becoming more intentional with your actions.
The 3 A’s is a handy way to check in with yourself and practice mindfulness. At any time you can pause, take a moment, and check in on the following:
1. Attention – What are you paying attention to? Is it what matters most to you?
2. Attitude – How are you paying attention? Are you critical and judgmental or curious and open?
3. Awareness – What is your internal state? Are you in a reactive tight, stressed place; responsive aware space, or intuitive relaxed space?
One place I work to practice the 3 A’s is when I am home with my family in the evenings. My time with my family matters greatly to me and how I show up and am present matters even more. So, when I get home I am frequently checking in with myself and redirecting my attention to my son and husband versus thoughts and feelings about unresolved issues from work or technology distractions. I then think, am I reacting to my son and husband with a critical attitude, which for me can be jabs at my husband for not meeting my expectations around help around the house or at my son for his difficult behavior. If I do have these frustrations, I check my internal state (awareness) and if I’m stressed and tight, I breathe, take a break, and then work to let those frustrations go or respond to them with curiosity, calm, and openness. I choose to not jump to the conclusion my husband didn’t get something done because he doesn’t care or is lazy or whatever judgement may be going through my mind. I’m open to other possibilities like he gets stressed and forgets things. Or I see my son’s behavior through the lens of what is he trying to communicate versus I wish he’d just stop. This practice keeps me awake and paying attention to what matters most, my connection and relationship with my family, which in turn creates an energy of peace and happiness for me. “Where attention goes, energy flows” – Tara Brach