The Mindful Midlife Crisis

​​Episode 115--Meditate & Mingle: Cultivating a Stable Mind

December 06, 2023 Billy Lahr
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
​​Episode 115--Meditate & Mingle: Cultivating a Stable Mind
Show Notes Transcript

This week’s episode is a recording of a recent Meditate & Mingle session about fostering equanimity–an essential practice that empowers us to cultivate stability in our minds. Billy leads an enlightening meditation session, shedding light on the importance of intention and mindfulness in everyday life. Investing in yourself is the first step towards a more purposeful and passionate life. So, embrace this opportunity to prioritize happiness, health, and love in your life.

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Billy:  Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. I'm your host, Billy Lahr, an educator, personal trainer, meditation teacher and overthinker who talks to experts who specialize in social and emotional learning. Mindfulness, physical and emotional wellness, cultural awareness, finances, communication, relationships, dating, and parenting all in an effort to help us better reflect, learn, and grow so we can live a more purpose-filled life.

Take a deep breath, embrace the present, and journey with me through The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy Lahr. Thank you for tuning in wherever you are. The purpose of this show is to help you navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half, using my NoBS GPS guide, into finding more purpose and passion in your life, because I am sick and tired of people telling you to follow your passions, because that is complete and utter nonsense. Purpose and passion are destinations, not departure zones, so if you need some help navigating which direction you want your life to go, schedule a free exploration call with me by visiting or click on the link in the show notes, where I provide even more goodies for you. By practicing intentional and mindful living over the last 10 years, I've learned how to better navigate the trials, tribulations and successes of my own midlife crisis. Being more intentional and mindful has helped me process my ruminating thoughts, anxiety and stress in a much healthier way, by reducing my emotional reactivity and impulsive behavior, which, in turn, has helped me improve my relationships and communication with others, as well as be more consistent, disciplined, patient and productive in meeting my goals. These are the same skills, strategies and resources I use in my personal life, based on years of research and experimentation, to find a bit more calm amidst the chaos. And, trust me, there are still days when I'm a hot mess, but my hope is that by sharing my experiences, as well as the experiences of my guests, you'll see that you're not alone in your experience. So if you're looking for a little more direction and clarity in your life, visit Schedule that free exploration, call and let me be your GPS to finding more purpose and passion in life. This week's episode comes from a recent Meditate and Mingle session that I lead every Monday evening at 8pm central time. You're welcome to either follow along with the guided practice here today and reflect on what came up for you, what was difficult, what surprised you and how you'll use this practice moving forward on your own time, or you can go to and click on the Meditate and Mingle banner at the top and sign up for future sessions. Not only is it a great way to cultivate a mindfulness practice, but it's also an opportunity for you to connect with people from all around the world whose experiences may resonate with yours. This week's guided practice is called Cultivating a Stable Mind. Practicing equanimity is what we're going to be doing today. Equanimity, a word that I was not real familiar with until I saw the Dave Chappelle special with the same name. I was like what does he mean by equanimity? And really, it's just the calmness that you bring. So practicing calmness, practicing equanimity, offers numerous benefits for individuals seeking mental and emotional balance. First and foremost, it cultivates a profound sense of inner peace, allowing one to navigate life's ups and downs with greater serenity. This practice fosters emotional resilience, enabling individuals to respond to challenges with clarity and composure instead of reactive impulsivity. I talk about that all the time how do we get to a point we're able to respond as opposed to react? Equanimity also enhances relationships by reducing judgment and bias, promoting understanding and empathy. It fosters a deep sense of acceptance both of oneself and others, promoting healthier connections. Moreover, it improves overall well being by reducing stress, anxiety and emotional volatility, thereby benefiting physical health. Ultimately, practicing equanimity empowers individuals to lead a more harmonious and fulfilling life, marked by emotional stability and greater compassion. So with that, let's get to this week's Meditate and Mingle session. What have you been doing lately with more intention or more mindful attention?

Participant 1:  Something that I've been doing is building in transition time. So at work I have a lot of meetings throughout the day, so I'm trying to build in time that I can just have two or three minutes before meetings and after meetings before I have to jump into the next thing. Just to have space to like decompress and like see what is my body feeling and just like do I need to get up and stretch, Do I need to go get a drink? But just like building in time to have transition instead of having like everything go right back into each other Because I feel like that's been a habit in the past. And then it's like oh, I realize I've been like working and haven't taken any breaks or just been like going and I haven't taken time to eat. So like actually building meaningful, like transition time where I can have space in between things to just be.

Billy:  What's the impact been so far? What benefits are you seeing? What challenges are you seeing?

Participant 1:  I think it takes, it gives me more time to collect myself, because I've noticed that when I have so I work from home, remote, and I have like a lot of meetings and so I'll go from one meeting to the other and if it's like if I have no break, I realize like I'm just not as engaged in the next meeting or I'm just like quieter or just like tired and just like I just have a shorter attention span. I think the challenge is when I'm in a meeting that runs long and then it like feeds into like the issue of like oh well, now I lost my like two or three minutes, but I mean that's a work in progress, but just trying to like build out my calendar so there's little space that like can't be scheduled and do.

Billy:  And are most of your meetings one on one meetings or are they team meetings, team?

Participant 1:  meetings a lot of the time.

Billy:  Okay, I wasn't sure if you were still doing a lot of one on one meetings with people, so got it Okay. Well, thank you for sharing and I applaud you for working in those breaks and just being intentional around that. It seems like you're just kind of plugging in little moments, these little mindful moments, here and there. I know you had mentioned that you're trying to be more mindful about eating. So how is that going? Are you keeping up with that, or is it using one and you've lost the other? Or are you scaffolding a bit?

Participant 1:  Work in progress. I think sometimes, especially if I've been like really busy and I've like not taken time to eat, then I'm like super hungry when I get to a meal and I tend to like scarf down food. But if it's more like I'm not like starving per se, I think I'm better about it. I've been thinking more about it at least every time I eat, like oh, how fast am I eating? I'm actually enjoying the food that's like in front of me.

Billy:  Awesome. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it. Alejandro. Alice, what have you been doing here to be either more intentional or more mindful, or, if you're like nothing, what's gotten in the way of that?

Participant 2:  Initially, I wasn't sure I was trying to go over my head. What have I been doing? But it actually did remember that my afternoons after work, particularly in the evening, I have been trying to do just one thing. Not because previously I had to have it up oh well, I got YouTube or something on off the site. I'm doing something on my computer and I'm also maybe eating soup at the same time. So not doing that it isn't the whole afternoon or the whole evening, but there have been moments where I just do the one thing. I just okay, I'm going to watch something, I'm going to watch it and not do anything else. That's probably the biggest thing.

Billy:  It sounds to me like you're reducing the amount of quote, unquote. Multi-tasking yes, that you're engaged in and that's great. I always warn people that there is no such thing as multi-tasking, it's just switch-tasking. You're giving one thing your attention and another thing attention, so you're switch-tasking. And it's like people will say, well, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. Well, those are automatic things that you can do, but when it requires your full attention, then it's called switch-tasking. So I'm glad that you have that awareness. Do you find that that improves your focus on what it is that you are doing with the one thing, or do you feel a compulsion or an urge to be like well, I want to do this and this and this at the same time?

Participant 2: 9:27

I do feel that compulsion. I guess it's also because what I'm doing in the evening isn't necessarily that important, it isn't life-changing work, it's just decompressing. But I have to decompress the most I can, so I'm going to do multiple decompressing at the same time.

Billy:  Yeah, yeah. So how do we kind of desensitize the decompressing? How do we, rather than input, input, input? Then you're thinking that that's decompressing but it's really just taking in more input, it's more consumption. So how do we just allow ourselves to be, even if it's just watching TV? But we just watch the TV, we're not on our phone, we're not checking this or not checking that, and I think that just kind of comes with the territory nowadays. So if we're intentional around, just focusing on the one thing, then we're able to simmer down those urges, those compulsions to be check this, check that, check this, check that at the same time. So I applaud you for doing that so nice work. Yeah, thank you. How about you, alice? Anything that you want to share?

Participant 3:  Yes, I do have something to share, and what I want to share is this Like I do go on a lot of trips to a lot of different places and most of the time, like I'm just there, completely alone. Like these trips you can find for free, right? So if you're a foreigner and you live in Korea, you get to go on a trip for free. You sign up and then, if I get in, I go there and it's like you're doing a group tour of a place that you've never been to before. Most of the time when I go on like not really I don't really care about the fact that I'm alone, everyone is alone. But then there are times when I see like a couple or like a group of friends they're there together and then I start to feel like a bit like singled out, like no one is there with me, to kind of ask me like oh, how do you feel about this, how do you feel about that? And this, like resentment that I feel about not having that person next to me starts to take over Like, and so I'm at this like very beautiful place, everyone is taking pictures, everyone is having a great time and there's like this dark cloud over my head and I'm not fully able to engage, because I'm always thinking like, why isn't there anyone asking me? You know how I feel about this trip, and it's frustrating because, yeah, it's like something that I need to move away from, but but I haven't been able to right. And basically, if you're Canadian or you're American or whatever, like you travel, you go there alone and like it's like a part of your identity, right. And so I like I understand that and so I'm like trying to process like, hey, I'm a Canadian, right, I'm a Canadian. Like this is what I do, like I travel sometimes alone and that's okay, you know, and I'm trying to sort of be more comfortable with that side of me. But yeah, there's also that collectivist side of me that's very Korean and that feels like I'm a lady, someone pay attention to me and cater to my feelings right, Like just kind of like processing. That is like really, yeah, like it's not easy, you know.

Billy:  Yeah. So there were a couple of things that you said in there that, first of all, I want you to even just kind of to celebrate a little bit. It's the awareness that that cloud is there, that there's that resentment, and so I'm curious if you feel that in the moment and you're aware of it in the moment, and if you're able to bring a bit of self compassion to yourself in that moment and then look around and say myself is really good company to what is it that I am seeing in terms of of this beautiful scenery that's around me? So, turning your, I guess, almost having this conversation with an alter ego and saying, in recognizing this resentment has built up and I feel it and I acknowledge that it's here, but I also acknowledge that I'm here and I can ask myself, what am I noticing? And then, kind of, like I said, having that conversation with the alter ego, so that then you can, if you feel comfortable, going up to those other groups and just saying, hey, I'm Alice, introducing yourself to those groups and saying what do you think of this place? So I'm curious if that's something that you're comfortable doing or if that's popped up in your mind, or when do you recognize that resentment? When do you recognize that cloud? Is it in the moment, or is it later on, when you're like, oh, I couldn't enjoy this because of this lingering feeling that was there.

Participant 3:  I think it's just like you suddenly feel it, like it's not like you don't feel anyone directly making you, like they're never pointing at you and laughing at you, like it's usually not that blunt, but I don't know. There is like this feeling, like you just see other people taking selfies of themselves and then you know like you just feel as if you want to run up to them and be like hey, put me in the picture. You know like it's awkward, right? Yeah, I think it's like maybe I don't feel 100% comfortable with myself and yeah, there's maybe like a conversation I need to have that that I'm like trying to avoid, right?

Billy:  Well, it sounds like again that you're aware of these things. So then I think, just cultivating the self compassion to be like you know what I'm feeling, these things in this moment. But I also am here, and so how do I acknowledge that these feelings are present, while also acknowledging the happiness and the gratitude that I feel for having this experience, and then seeing you know which direction those emotions go, and just kind of being mindful if the resentment really starts to take over, and then maybe it's something more, maybe it's something deeper, and it's not just the looking around and being like, oh, this person's there, this person's there, maybe that wouldn't bother you on any other day. Maybe there's something else. Maybe there just is just a mood that you brought with you and it's not even about any of those other feelings, it's just something that's around. So just being mindful of that, but then also, like I said, being able to channel into you know that good energy that's around you and seeing if you're able to connect with the people who are around you as well Just a challenge to you. So I know what outings you're talking about and those are fun. So I'm glad that you're going to those, I'm glad that you're socializing in those and getting a chance to see more of Korea as you go to those. So I encourage you to keep seeking those opportunities out. Our practice here this evening is called Cultivating a Stable Mindset, and you use this word equanimity, and equanimity is a word that I wasn't even necessarily familiar with until I saw the Dave Chappelle Special. I'm Netflix. I was like what equanimity, what's that all about? And really what equanimity is is the quality of remaining grounded and stable in the midst of our experience. So when we notice suffering, we respond with compassion and we don't get knocked off balance by the unexpected, and when we practice equanimity, we're able to cultivate a state of mind that is both grounded and flexible, especially in the midst of intense emotional experiences. So let's go ahead and get ourselves into a comfortable position, either sitting in a chair in a dignified posture with your back away from the back of the chair, chest proud, feet flat on the floor in hands wherever they're most comfortable or, if you prefer, you can lie on the floor with your feet on crossed, falling away from each other, arms at your side, and now that you've found a comfortable position, I invite you to close your eyes. Or, if it's more comfortable, you can simply lower your gaze. Now let's take a moment to settle in, using our breath with a long, slow but even inhale through the nose and then slowly letting that air back out at the same slow, even rate through the nose on the exhale. Take a few deep breaths like this, inhaling slowly and evenly, focusing on filling your belly with air and then slowly and evenly letting your belly fall on the exhale. Now find the natural rhythm of your breath, still taking in the air through the nose and filling your belly with that air and, on each exhale, letting the air pass through the nostrils gently while softening the belly. Using these breaths to quiet the mind by just focusing on each inhale and each exhale, allowing yourself to simply just be. During this practice, you'll likely notice that your mind may wander or get lost in thought. Just know that that is a very normal occurrence. So when that does happen, bring awareness to where the mind went gently. Bring your attention back to our intended focus. We begin by noticing the sounds around us and now tuning in to the feelings in the body, now shifting to our overall mental state. We're just going to open awareness. We're simply present with everything around us, Just noticing what calls our attention when something comes up. We tune in to the mind, noticing where you get knocked off balance in those thoughts or in those stories or in those narratives. Just noticing a certain sounds or thoughts or feelings in the body. Feel charged and pull you from your calm state of mind and allow yourself to sit with this awareness of your own balance. Thank you. Now let's bring to mind someone you care about, deeply Connect with your intention to care for this person, recognize that although you may care for this person, you cannot control their happiness. So we offer a few phrases of equanimity. With them in mind, you can repeat may you feel happy. May you be in charge of your own happiness. Your happiness is dependent upon your actions, not my wishes for you. May you feel happy. May you be in charge of your own happiness. Your happiness is dependent upon your actions, not my wishes for you. Switching now to somebody else you care about Finding someone who is currently experiencing some pain or suffering, connecting with your intention to care. But remain stable and offer these phrases of compassion and equanimity. May you be safe and free from suffering. May you take action to care for your pain. Your freedom is dependent upon your actions, not my wishes for you. May you be safe and free from suffering. May you take action to care for your pain. Your freedom is dependent upon your actions, not my wishes for you. Finally, bring to mind somebody in your life who has had some joy or success recently. Offer a few phrases of appreciative joy, staying connected to your equanimity. May your joy continue. May you be in charge of your joy. Your joy is in your hands and not dependent upon my wishes for you. May your joy continue. May you be in charge of your joy. Your joy is in your hands and is not dependent upon my wishes for you. Now sit with your stable mind, flexible yet grounded, rooted like blades of grass swaying gently in the breeze. Be present with this equanimity. As we bring this meditation to a close, allow yourself to come back to your breath, feeling the air pass through the nostrils on the inhale and on the exhale, expelling the air evenly and naturally through the nose and when you're ready, I invite you to open your eyes and take inventory of the sensations of your body and bring awareness to your surroundings. Let's take a quick break to reflect on what came up for you, what surprised you, what was challenging and what new awarenesses are present within you. And when we come back, you'll hear from the group about what came up for them and how they plan to use this practice moving forward. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. 

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Welcome back. What came up for you in there? What were some new awarenesses that you had? What did that feeling of equanimity feel like. Or what was difficult about even getting grounded Were you in the space to be grounded?

Participant 2:  I had an initial moment of panic Like wait, who am I supposed to send good feelings to?

Billy:  Oh, interesting, Interesting.

Participant 2:  Talk a little bit more about that Like who is, somebody who is feeling poor or something like that, and I remember thinking, okay, are they? Yes, no, I'm going to ask somebody else, like a feeling that I have to do it correctly, the exercise correctly, or something like that.

Billy:  Yeah. Where do you think that comes from? Why do you think you put that pressure? It feels like you put pressure on yourself to pick the right person. Yes, and in this case, do you think it would have mattered?

Participant 2:  No, I don't know If you like, I have to do this correctly in some way, otherwise I might as well not do it. I think it's the thinking behind that. Yeah, I guess that would be like a perfectionist sort of thinking.

Billy:  I think there are some people in the group that can relate to that.

Participant 2: 34:32

So a couple of times when meditating in general, I sometimes kind of get too in and then my mind starts to wander around and I kind of for a second thought, wait, what I did also have that initial thought of at one point, that wait, how long have I been here that I fall asleep. But that's what really has picked the correct person based on what I'm sort of sending out.

Billy:  Yeah. And so let me ask you this Whenever it comes to mind, you think that they would benefit from your goodwill to them, because, in reality, do they know that you're bringing them to mind? No, no, no. So then does it matter too much who comes to mind, or is it more of a? You know? I don't know if this person is going through a difficult time, but if they are, they just came to mind. So I'm going to extend this equanimity to them, I'm going to extend this loving kindness to them and then allowing yourself to be rooted in that equanimity, so that you can allow that vibration of goodwill extend to them without the second arrow, as it's called. So the second arrow is the story goes that someone's walking through the woods and they get hit with a stray arrow from a hunter, and so the physical pain is there, but then the second pain comes from the second arrow, where they're like oh, this always happens to me. So then the first arrow might be your awareness that, oh, who should I bring to mind? And then the second arrow is I'm screwing this up, I'm not doing this right. So, just being mindful of that second arrow and I think, kind of going back to that idea of self-compassion, that, hey, if we're here and we're practicing, we're doing this right. And I often say that the practice is in the failure. When we recognize that we're no longer focused on equanimity, we're no longer focused on our breath, we're no longer focused on the sounds in the room, whatever the intention is, that we're able to say, oh hey, my mind is drifted, like I say at the beginning that that's normal, and then we bring our attention back, we bring our intention back or we bring our attention back to the intention and we're able to do that with grace and we do that with self-compassion. And so it continued to work on extending self-compassion. When you make that awareness and you're like, oh, where did my mind go? That's what the mind does, and now I am back and just allowing it to be what it is and letting go of that judgment. And it's hard, that's hard to do. But the more we continue to extend that self-compassion, we're able to let go of the judgment and we don't feel the wound of the second arrow as intensely.

Participant 2:  And focusing on self-compassion, understanding that the exercise itself is worthwhile, and not getting caught up in whether I'm doing it a certain way or not.

Billy:  Correct, yeah, yeah. And just knowing that the practice it's practice, it's exactly what it is. It's practice, and the more that we practice, the better we get at it. And this idea that practice makes perfect, perfect practice makes perfect Well, really, what's perfect practice? So, really, it's just getting better at the awareness of it all and just saying, oh, hey, I'm following along with this practice and then, oops, my mind has gone here. How do I bring myself back? And that then of itself is a practice, not just the awareness of bringing you back, but how you bring yourself back is practice of self-compassion. So there's the awareness practice and the self-compassion practice. So, letting that be all part of the practice and knowing that, hey, I'm doing this right, and letting go of some of the pressure to do it quote unquote perfectly. Keep up the good work. Alejandro. Analyst Luke, what came up for you? What was that feeling of equanimity like? Is there anything that Alejandro said there that resonates with you?

Participant 1:  Well, it's kind of funny. I initially had trouble thinking of the third person, someone that had experienced joy or something good happened, and then I was like, oh, that's kind of concerning and I was like I can't think of anybody who's like shared good news with me recently, and so I like I thought about the last time like I interact with somebody that seemed happy, and I kind of leaned into that. The second person that you said, you know, think of somebody who maybe needs like support or is struggling. That you care about is interesting, because I didn't try to, but I immediately thought of a family member who I'm actually kind of frustrated and like angry with right now, and so I was like no, I don't want to think of them, but I just I just kind of let it go and I was like they came to mind, I'm just going to lean into it. I probably like that's what popped into my head, I'm going to lean into it. And it was just like this initial frustration where I like I wanted to fight it. I was like, no, think of somebody else, not this person. And then I just kind of leaned into it and I was like you know what? This is probably a sign that this person popped into my head. Like I'll just go with it.

Billy:  So then the question becomes what do you do with that in the real world? Is there a compulsion, then, to extend that self compassion verbally or in communication in some way, and would that be meaningful to that person? And I don't know, like only you know, whether or not that would be meaningful or if that throws gas on the fire, so to speak.

Participant 1:  I think in that moment where I was kind of just thinking about them and like kind of imagining, like sending good vibes their way, I guess it was kind of freeing, like I kind of just let go and I was like you know, I obviously have strong feelings, because this was like bubbling up. I kind of just leaned into it and I was like maybe this is the space where I can just like send thoughts and like feelings their way and just kind of be at peace and they're not going to do anything in response to me in this moment that, like, might frustrate me or irritate me. So it's just like I can just be and sit with these feelings and admit, yes, I do care about this person, yes, I do hope things go better for them.

Billy:  Going back to the part about who do I know is experiencing joy or success. That then, maybe is a challenge to you to just get curious around the people that you interact with, right, I think people like to share their successes or their joys. So just starting a conversation off like that, just like, hey, what's good, what's some success that you've experienced here lately, I think just giving them an opportunity to share, that might shift their mood or it may shift the tone of a conversation. Even starting a meeting out that way, you're saying, hey, I just had a change of pace here, just wondering, like, what successes have you guys experienced here at work or at home, or just in general, and eliciting that conversation because, like I said, I think people like to share their successes and I think people, there's this need for recognition a lot of us have right. So providing a platform for that, because seeing their successes and hearing about their successes if you recognize it as oh, wow, I'm happy for you, I'm proud of you, and even being mindful of oh, maybe I'm a little jealous of that right there, but then letting the joy part of that, the happiness part, be kind of the focal point.

Participant 1:  This is really timely and helpful because I am leading part of a work retreat on Friday and part of the activities is giving a platform for people to share about themselves, so we get to learn about each other more. And I think I might throw out the idea of when have you been most proud of yourself and just build in so people can talk about the things they've done where they felt proud. So that gives me a good idea of some structured activity for Friday.

Billy:  Awesome, awesome. We can put it into action right away, so I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes next week. Alice, how about you? What came up for you? What was that feeling of equanimity like for you?

Participant 3:  I definitely felt it. I used to go over to my grandma's house a few years ago and just like take a nap on her couch, and I felt as if I was back in that living room and that couch was waiting for me. Yeah, actually my grandma. She's still here, but she's not like I don't get to see her these days because she's not feeling that well, and so like I'm kind of like hoping that by just taking care of myself, I'm somehow doing my job right. She's over 90 years old, so I'm not really sure when I'm going to get the phone call. But yeah, I am thinking of her.

Billy:  I'm glad that you brought up that you felt grounded, because I saw that you went over to the couch right and you reclined on the couch and then you just kind of had this. It's almost like you were transported to your grandmother's couch, where you feel grounded, where you feel rooted, and that's actually something that we teach when it comes to equanimity. How do we elicit that feeling of groundedness, how do we elicit that feeling of stability? You know, one way that we can do that is we can think of somebody who embodies equanimity. So you know, I just think about someone who is just like calm, cool and collected in any situation. In the class that Alejandro is taking, I use the example of Sherlock Holmes, and I'm not talking about the Robert Downey Junior Sherlock Holmes I'm talking about like Sherlock Holmes from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books. He just seems like he's so calm, cool and collected in any situation that he's in. And so here you're able to channel this feeling of your grandmother. She comes to mind in her space, that couch is this groundedness it sounds like, and you're able to, in a sense, kind of settle in to that feeling of equanimity when that comes to mind. I like that you did that and thank you for sharing that. I'm glad that you were able to make that connection and sit with that, but then also to have your grandma, as she's getting older, but you're able to keep her close in your mind and in your heart and use that as kind of like, looking at her as like, yeah, she also embodies equanimity. Even though she's getting older, she embodies that equanimity, that groundedness. So then here's my question to the three of you here how can you use this practice, how can you use this new awareness from what we've discussed here today moving forward? So, luke, you kind of have a game plan there where you can use that strategy in your meeting on Friday. How about Alejandro and Alice? Where do you see yourself potentially using what we talked about here today, or using an equanimity practice like this moving forward? Or even Alejandro, just kind of using the self-compassion and the awareness piece of it, if that's what you want to focus on?

Participant 3:  Well, I definitely know that I'm going to be enjoying my lunch and I'm going to be having this today. I'm feeling for lunch, I don't know. Now that I'm in the like, I'm sort of settled in to myself, I feel like prepared to eat because I yeah, I was like I wasn't even thinking about this thing today, like I forgot that you were doing this on Tuesdays and so I was going to go and make this before we did this. But then, yeah, I got the message in the group chat and so I came in and like now I actually feel like much more sort of like mentally prepared for the meal and I feel like, yeah, I've said my prayers, I feel the gratitude in my heart and now I can eat my lunch and not feel like I'm just like forcing myself to go through some kind of routine activity. I think it's kind of old fashioned, but I like the idea of like praying before a meal, like it makes the food taste better. I feel the good energy, yeah, in my mind now.

Billy:  Excellent. So maybe you can apply, you know, an equanimity practice, or even just like a meditation, or, if you want to do a prayer before some other, just like daily practice, something that maybe you take for granted, something that you do every single day. You know you got your meal. But there might be other things that you do too, where you can just kind of bring awareness to what you're feeling in the moment, or bring a sense of groundedness, a sense of equanimity, a feeling of stability to the moment, so that when you move into that next thing that you've done a million times, you do it with a feeling of groundedness, of equanimity, of calm, and then you might appreciate it in another way or you might experience it in another way. You might notice something that you didn't notice before. Alejandro, how about you? What are you going to apply?

Participant 2: 48:40

moving forward, Self-compassion, because I think I have pretty good self-awareness but not that self-compassion and I think it can very sort of right now it can go pretty easily into being self-critical. It gets more specifically. With the self-compassion I mean throughout the day trying to be mindful and more intentional, and when I'm not, it's going to be times when I'm not being compassionate about that, but if, for example, kind of rushing to a meal during a break or something, then when I realize that, also remembering to not get angry at myself or whatever, Well, I think you bring up a really important point right here that people who have self-awareness, people who have score high, I guess, on the self-awareness scale, also score really high on self-critical and they score low on self-compassion.

Billy:  So I love that you recognize that. Hey, I am quite self-aware, I celebrate that about me. But then there's also this self-critical. Now be aware of the second arrow there, where I say, dang it, I wish I wasn't so self-critical, right, and just saying, hey, I'm aware that I'm being more critical of myself here. Where can I bring in some compassion? Where can I accept that? Hey, I make mistakes. Or hey, this is hard. Hey, I'm learning in this moment and now that I'm aware of it, I can navigate it with a different mindset. So I think that's great that you're going to apply that here in the next week, and I'm curious how that goes when we see each other next Monday and next Tuesday for you, alice. So what resonated with you from this discussion? Shoot me a message at, or DM me on Instagram @mindful_midlife_crisis and let me know what your takeaways were from this discussion. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. 

Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. New episodes come out every Wednesday to help you get over the midweek hump. If you'd like to contact me or if you have suggestions about what you'd like to hear on the show, visit and click contact us. While you're there, don't forget to sign up for the newsletter to get free weekly meditations as well as free resources from our Reflect, learn, grow program. You can also click on the show notes for links to the articles and resources we referenced throughout the show. If you want to check out my worldly adventures, follow me on Instagram @mindful_midlife_crisis. My hope is that my trials, tribulations and successes will inspire you to take intentional action to live a more purposeful life. And, while you're at it, remember to show yourself some love every now and then too. Thanks again, and now back to the show. Welcome back to the mindful midlife crisis. If this session resonated with you and you feel like cultivating a regular mindfulness practice will nourish the mind, body and soul, go to and click on the banner at the top to get more information about how you can join our Meditatin Mingle community and just know that mindfulness isn't about staring blankly at a wall and clearing your mind of all thoughts. It's about sitting in awareness with openness, curiosity, compassion and non-judgment. So if you suddenly become aware that you're not where you want to be in life, congratulations to you. You are practicing mindfulness. My job is to simply help guide you through that process so you can reflect, learn and grow. Finally, remember this Progress is not linear. Our growth looks more like the stock market Some days we're up, some days we're down, and we may not reap the benefits for a while. But if we play the long game on our consistent, disciplined, patient and self-compassionate, you'll see that your investment in yourself will pay huge dividends over time. If this episode inspired you to invest in yourself in a new way, please do me a favor and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would share this episode with the people in your life who may find some value in it. The purpose of this show is to help you navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half, and help this free and useful information provide some insight that will guide you towards living with more purpose and passion in life. So with that, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy and loved. 

Take care, friends.