coffeeThere’s an inherent trap in trying to become a mindful person. Any moment that you are acting mindlessly you fall into the category of deficiency. You are less than what you are trying to be and this leads to some form of suffering. It reminds of a quote by Walter Landor that said, “As soon as you want to be happier, you are no longer happy.” There’s a more optimal way to view living mindfully.

In 2007 I published a national research study called Sacred Moments: Implications on Well-Being and Stress in The Journal of Clinical Psychology. The study was focused on the question, “Is it possible for people to cultivate sacred moments in their lives and if so, what effect does that have?”

The key word in this is “moments.”

Life is about the moments.

As we practice and repeat something the brain registers it and it starts to become more automatic. With the practice of mindfulness we start to experience more moments of awareness. Maybe it’s the moment that you’re driving shouting at the car next to you that one of those moments arrives. You pause, take a few deep breaths and become more flexible in how you’re seeing that situation and the choices you have before you.

Or maybe it’s when you’re rushing out of the house late for work and your son asks you to look at a picture he just drew. As you’re about to leave you a moment drifts upon you and you remember that you’ll never regret pausing and giving that 30 seconds to yours son, but you may regret not having given it.

Or perhaps it’s a simple moment at lunch while you’re eating as awareness settles upon you. You consider all the people potentially around the world that put their efforts into getting this meal to you today, including yourself for having worked to afford it. You may consider that the nourishment of this food helps keep you strong so you can be of service to your friends, coworkers, family and yourself. That next bite is far tastier than the previous ones.

There are so many moments throughout the day where this kind gentle awareness is available to get us in touch with choice and the wisdom of what matters.

It will help a whole lot if we can drop the label in our minds of aspiring to be a mindful person and instead aspire to have more mindful moments. This simplifies things and takes away the trap of falling short.

If you haven’t already experienced the Daily Now Moments where you get daily notes to your inbox reminding you of experiencing mindful moments, you can get them now for free, my service to you.

Take a moment to write below a recent daily now moment that you’ve experienced. Your interaction below inspires others to become more aware of them in their own lives.

Imagine the ripple effects.

Woman drinking coffee image available from Shutterstock.



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    Last reviewed: 16 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2013). The Pitfalls of Trying to Be a Mindful Person. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 31, 2015, from


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Books and CDs by Dr. Elisha Goldstein:
Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind

The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change The Rest of Your Life
A Mindfulness-Based
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