Hack Mindfulness for the Busy People – Dance in and out of awareness – Transformation through Breath

Do you think it’s possible to incorporate mindfulness into your busy life, while you’re on the go?


What is mindfulness?

It is cultivating present moment awareness, realizing that you are distracted by your thoughts, which is inevitable, And certainly not a sign of failure. Noticing your distraction is mindfulness. Congratulate yourself for it. 


Youtube Channel “From Slow to Flow”, Secrets with Julie Spark: watch here



The best part is that mindfulness can dramatically improve your busy life. You must purposely make an effort to practice mindfulness. But it is
scientifically proven to have benefits from a very wide range of common difficulties. 

I like to compare it to that moment where I’m sitting on the beach watching the sunset listening to my favourite music. I bring awareness to my experience in a purposeful and particular way, without judgement nor defence, with open curiosity and acceptance.  


Everything is a question of perception. Two similar objects appear differently because of the difference in the mind that perceives them. 

I am fully present in the moment. I’m not judging, or evaluating. I am not reflecting back on memories, I am not looking forward to foresee the future, I’m not trying to problem solve, or avoid any unpleasant aspect of the present situation. It is like a microscope, clearly presenting what is there. The now, not referring to the past, nor the future. 

It is the part of the brain that acknowledges what is, and how it is. It includes the process of thinking itself, it is a part of you that knows,  and that is aware that you are thinking: it is you. That part does not produce opinions, thoughts, nor judgements. It simply notices, it is the part of our mind that is called our observing mind, also known as awareness


Awareness always has space for the most troublesome thoughts, and the strongest emotions. It somehow knows that sooner or later the weather will change. Your awareness is a little like the sky. While the thoughts and emotions are like the clouds, or the weather passing through. I like to remember the sky is never overwhelmed by the weather conditions. There is enough room for the strongest storms, even for most ferocious hurricanes.


Close your eyes for the next 10 seconds, start noticing and acknowledging all the sensations in your body. What is it you’re sitting on? Are you lying down or standing? What sensation do you have when your bottom meets the chair, or the bed. The sole of your foot, on the floor, or inside your shoe…

Curiously explore, I feel the sense of touch of your body touching the surface. Acknowledge the sensation, hold it in your awareness, and then focus your attention on it. Let go of any judgement  that would come up on your mind linked to the exercise. It might help to close your eyes.


Being mindful is noticing where your awareness lies. It is like a dance moving in and out from awareness, So then the thinking mind that takes action surrenders, and the thinking creative mind then takes the lead. The key is to train the mind to focus attention and be more aware, which takes practice.

“Repetition is the key.”

Mindfulness can be practised thanks to the breath, anywhere.

The more we overload our brain, the more our performance suffers. We won’t be able anymore to problem solve, and be creative or innovative. I wasn’t even able to deal with difficult emotions. Making decisions, and being productive became cluttered, and I was tired all the time. 

We superheroes are often under the misconception, that if we keep up all the busyness, we are indeed SUPER!


Multitasking sucks, it is impossible to be efficient when you do two things at once, and it inevitably stresses you out. 

Plus we are so not keen at mastering the art of doing nothing, we see it as a waste of time. Truth is our brains really benefit when doing nothing at all. 


Wake up and smell your coffee, hold a cup bring it all the way up to with your nose and taking deep breath smelling the deliciousness of your coffee. Accept and be aware of your coffee just as it is. 

The key is to really live in the present, slow down, and do not compare our current experience with past our future, and don’t rely on distractions to avoid unpleasant feelings. 


Go to a new lunch place

Try another dish on the menu

Cook a different type of recipe for dinner

Instead of texting make a phone call

Watch a documentary instead of a film

When my busy superhero seems to be in overdrive, I stop and remember this:

S Stop, think, and then act

L Let it be, thoughts, opinions, whatever is arising; just let it be

O Open your heart, truly identify what you are feeling

W What is important right now? Will somebody die if it isn’t done by tomorrow? Is it really that urgent?


Take care of yourself, be present, rest your mind, then get back to it. Often space allows you to focus on a bigger picture. 

Slow down and allow yourself to reconnect with what is truly important in life.


The worrying bee

We unhook ourselves from stressful thoughts, our mind is always busy creating stories. Standing back from them, allows us to appreciate the present moment, exactly how it is.

In the end we’ll all be stories

Become the observer of yourself when you are a worrying bee. First look at yourself, as yourself. How are you reacting when you are worried? Are you calm, are you shouting, rushing, talking over others, …?

Then shift to an actual observer. What do others notice? Are you argumentative, distracted, snappy, accusatory, disinterested, …?

How do others respond to me? Supportive, comforting, …? Probably not… 

Is thinking these thoughts at that specific moment helpful to you? Am I being the person I really want to be in this situation? 

We all have the ability to rewire our brain, via mindfulness practice. Let’s change the impact of how we behave, think, and feel. 

In neuroscience they call it neuroplasticity, we can create new neural pathways, our brain will adapt and change, in response to how we choose to train it, and what we experience. The more we practice it, the easier it will become. 



Let’s start by watching our thoughts. Put the book down, close your eyes, and simply watch your thoughts for 10min total.

Imagine being a chess board, black and white are playing, you see everything; but you’re not playing. 

When you open your eyes, ask yourself if this is really helpful in getting you the life of your dreams? Let go…

The mind projects a representation, not the real world. Don’t let your thoughts own you, immobilizing you, stuck in your ways; You own your thoughts!

Thoughts will keep popping up, what we can change is the attention we give to them. I like to compare thoughts with something completely impossible like; I’m a pin-up living on the moon. Then I laugh out loud, and I let go. 


I’m never going to get that job

This book will never be good enough

I am fat

I am ugly

People don’t like me

I’m never going to get this done today

I’m a pinup living on the moon

I’m not good enough

I can’t cope

I’m stupid

No one wants me

I am crazy

I am unlovable

No one can love me

I’m a pinup living on the moon


What we are practicing is being in the observing mind, rather than in the thinking mind. Live in full awareness. The thinking mind, also known as the hamster mind, you see that little creature running in its wheel. Is it trying to reach the end of its wheel? The circle…


Good thing is, we can’t be both; it’s either the hamster mind, or the observing mind. As soon as we notice our hamster is running wild, we simultaneously slow down, and the hamster too. We focus more on being, rather than doing. We notice the thought, but we don’t become caught up in it.

In the past, I’ve often stood in front of a wall, banging my head against it until I found the solution. Truth is when I let go of it all, and I stop trying to figure it all out myself, distancing myself from it really pays off. There is no one answer, life just takes its course. I stop resisting.

Regardless if I’m noticing the absence of thoughts, or their presence; I congratulate myself, that is mindfulness practice.

I ask myself what is most important to me, in that very moment, and I move forward towards that. 

I often observe myself beating myself up, even about not practicing enough mindfulness, Ha!


Here too I notice the thoughts, and bring myself back to the breath. I let go, and focus on the energy of being grateful, play, kindness, improving my wellbeing. 

I practice the same for stocked up emotions, whatever emotion is showing up, it is not about feeling better; it is about getting better at feeling whatever emotion is showing up in any given moment in my life.

The moment I stopped running from them, and learned sitting with them, I realised we are all in the same boat. These emotions are part of our human experience. Lets not hide, it will end up being more stressful. 

The goal is not to change that feeling, but to sit with it, accept it as part of you. We are all in the same boat, it is what makes us human.


Next time, when having an emotional outburst, envision standing in the eye of the hurricane, calm, in full acceptance, turn to the emotion; and give it a mic. 

Observe chaos of the storm surrounding you, from the center of the hurricane. 


We are all human after all, let’s stop trying to avoid that deeper vulnerability, let’s embrace it. It is the imperfections that make it perfect. Once I started living my life based on this vision, is when I started walking my true path, as my true self

Find a way in your life, rather than out of it. Strip and stop the struggling. 

Let’s go back to being unlovable, a big one for me. I feel so broken inside, how can anyone love me? I’ll only attract broken souls…

Julie said Julie while I was being suspended from the ceiling, during an extremely special therapy I’m currently following. More on that in Slow Intimacy – Level Il…

I suddenly saw a version of me, clearly the broken and destroyed version of me, lying on the floor. What struck me most was my colorlessness. I was brownish, as the color of a fire, but that had been sucked dry of her entire energy.

That’s when I realized, I’ve transformed into another version of myself. I must let go. I heard me whisper; let go, let go, let go,… 

I had to let go of that version of myself. Suddenly I say a new version of me, a pixie; like a fairy but more naughty. Push the other version of me into the river. I observed her float off. Good bye, I said. From that moment, I felt so light, and free. I smiled.

When we let go, we can finally allow it to pass. That misery, that suffering, that vulnerability, and that sadness. That greatest fear of feeling and being unlovable, that is what makes us so lovable. He landed me back on the Japanese mat, vulnerable as fuck, master looked intrigued. 

Walking out of there for the second time, I finally managed to cry again. I’d been cold for months, not one emotion. I felt like bubbles came up though my chest, my chin started shaking uncontrollably, I smiled, and just one tear ran down my cheek. My first tear in at least 7months. 


Emotional tears contain neurotransmitters, which act as a natural painkiller, I can’t wait for my next big cry, and the relief I’ll experience with it. 

When death hits, and a life is swepped away; plus the deep betrayal added of one of the people you felt closest to. There’s a hole, a deep black hole, and it turns you numb, filled with anger and disappointment, you feel in despair and sadness. 

There is no choice, we must ride this wave with mindfulness. I let myself fall gracefully, holding my sorrow with tenderness. I listen to the why’s and the what if’s, and there is nothing to say. It is living hell. Nothing will make it change. When you’re robbed from the chances to say “I love you” one more time, or resolve the past wounds. You are left with nothing but that black cold hole. 

The good thing is everything passes! Time will tell…

When we accept with tenderness, life will reward us with time, to a contact point for re-entry into life. After the rain comes the sun, always.

The cruel reality of love and loss, two sides of the same coin, one cannot be experienced without the other. 

Lets fly over the neediness, stop avoiding life, cutting ourselves off; don’t live in denial, live a little!

How truly alive or awake are you really?

We push away anything that is uncomfortable, and at the same time we push away feeling good, which is why we end up in a state of numbness. Focussed on instant gratification (phones, junk sex, junk food,…). 

Anaesthetic, we feel nothing at all. Anaesthetics are only temporary, for sooner or later pain returns; will we take more anaesthetic to keep the pain away? 

Low mood, anxiety, unaware of the fact that we’ve become oblivious to the other experiences in our lives. At the same time we are missing out on meaningful experiences in life, which would give us satisfaction in abundance. 

“If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.”- Edith Wharton
“The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in the dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.” Sandra King

Another acronym I like is EASE

Embrace all experiences nothing more nothing less, simply everything.

Accept the experience as it is, just this moment.

Soften and let it be, no need to interfere, guide it, struggle to work it out. 

Exhale you’ll naturally relax and let go, when we hold our breath we increase physical and mental tightness, we struggle, the secret is to  keep breathing.

Have you ever heard of the overview effect? 

It’s when you realise that Earth is just one drop in a vast expanse. 

In mindfulness we can do the same overview effect. We back away from my thoughts, and feelings, to gain a fresh perspective and see the bigger picture.

We start appreciating the little things more, we look at the Sun shining. We feel the freshness of the rain, the comfort of our sofa, the tastes of what we eat, and the smell of our morning coffee.

Many studies have shown that practising gratitude is one of the most reliable sources to increase feelings of happiness. If you wanna feel happier, the easiest way is to start a gratitude journal. 

The gift of giving

“A simple act of kindness can bring you great personal rewards. There is nothing quite like the gift of giving. When you see first-hand the impact it can have, it becomes the best feeling in the world.” – Richard Branson

To reduce stress, start committing to random acts of kindness, even for small moments in our day, you can really increase your sense of peace.


Another aspect I love is play, bringing playfulness in my life, and acting like a big kid, mainly playing the circus clown, really has a profound impact on my well-being. 

If you don’t believe me, try it. When you really surrender yourself to having fun, suddenly you feel this overpowering “feeling good” starting to wash over you. 



Climb big tree

Roll down a big hill until you get dizzy


When people come to the end of their life and look back, the question that the most often ask is not usually: how much is in my bank account?, how many books did I write?, or what did I build? You find the question such a person asks a very simple: did I love well? Do they live fully? Did I learn to let go?”


Letting go is a big one for me, not only to the aversion of my negative feelings; but also to the natural tendency of attachment to the positive feelings. 

Waking up and letting go, brought more balance in my busy life, and emotional stability. I would move onto the things that are really important, and with some kind of clarity of mind, I’d realise what I really wanted for myself. I was sick and the ride. 


Self compassion

“Striving to achieve and setting high standards for yourself can be a productive and healthy trait. But when your entire sense of self-worth is based on being productive and successful, when failure is simply not allowed, then striving to achieve becomes tyrannical. And  counter-productive. Research indicates that perfectionists are at a much greater risk for eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and a whole host of other psychological problems. “ – Self- Compassion pp 70-1



What do you say to yourself when you make a mistake?

I look in the mirror and tell myself:

“I love you anyway.”, with a kind heart filled with love.


From clarity and acceptance naturally arises compassion, we begin to allow life simply to unfold, we embrace and accept nature of our own private experience (sensations, feelings, emotions,…), as well as the busy world around us.

We stop trying to grasp for something nicer and better, we understand pain and suffering, the very truth and reality of life is that we all suffer, from the smallest beetle to the great blue whale, to poorest street urgent to the wealthiest rockstar, where are subject to death, ageing, and illness. 

This reality yet painful, is also very liberating and releases compassion, instead of avoiding this pain we accept reality and practice mindfulness. Then we are able to offer genuine authentic empathy, and care for ourselves, and for others. 

We acknowledge when we are suffering, and we respond with genuine kindness. We need to be warm and gentle towards our self when we suffer and come in contact with our vulnerability.  

We stop trying to escape at all costs, this fight or flight mode, we remain calm, we regain clarity, and move towards what matters most to us.

We are all imperfect and vulnerable. Self compassion involves the recognition of this shared common humanity. We all struggle with painful thoughts and feelings, we all led down a loved one one day, the truth is that we all mess up sometimes, busy or not, we are all in the same boat.



Crossed legged position

Make a fist with your right hand

Straighten the thumb and the pinky

Inhale through the left nostril, while closing the right nostril with your thumb

Exhale through your right nostril, while closing the left nostril with your pinky

Relax the right hand, palm open and up, just above your left knee

Deepen your breath. Inhale for 1-2-3-4-5, exhale for 1-2-3-4-5

Keep going for 10-15min

For transformation, breath is one of the most powerful tools we possess. Breathing through the right nostril will wake up your mind, while breathing through the left nostril will give you a sense of ease. 


Somehow we grew up believing that the only way to improve yourself his true self criticism, we are led to believe we are not worthy of any warmth or kindness. Overtime I recognised my worth, and with practice I realised that myself, and everyone around me deserves an abundance of love and kindness. This party is so compassion is contagious!


Loving me


To practice more self love I would close my eyes and imagine my mum. She would always look at me with the kindest smile, and her eyes filled with the purest love. I would imagine that love showering all over me. Then I’m open my eyes, and instead of mum I was standing there. Smiling at myself with the same smile, and the same love. I’ll tell myself: “I am loved”, and I would shower myself with that same pure love, coming from me. Loving  myself in this way, felt pretty daym good. Yet, I must keep reminding myself. I’d ask myself;


What can I do for you today? 

How can I make you happy? 

I am here.


I often manage to silence my anger and nervous inner voices, thanks to making them feel looked after, through the compassionate part of myself. 


Its usually the same for people, the most angry and anxious people, are desperately in need for compassion.


“Well-being is fundamentally no different from learning to play the cello.” – Richard Davidson



Mantra to let go:

May you be well

May you find release

May you be happy

Works for situations, people, things, …


I often jump into autopilot mode, where am I going exactly? Once in a while I hit the brakes and look around, is this still what I want? I look at my values because they are my inner compass, and I reorient my direction to the things that matter most to me, and the life worth living, the one chosen by me. 



Often in the evenings I lie in bed and I make my to be list:

Howdy I want to be when confronted with challenges, how have I been with myself, who do I want to be my life, what kind of person I want to be tomorrow… kindness, supportive, caring, hard-working, fun, compassionate,… All things on my to bo list.


It all comes down to you. What matters most to you? Listen to the whispers of your soul, deep down in your heart, based on the experiences you’ve had in your life, what are the values that you consider important?



We often rush around trying to get everything done, and we spent very little time reflecting on what matters most to us. 


We truly get to choose who we want to be in this world. It is not your abilities that define who you are, it is your choices. Are your actions value- based, or are you motivated by some other part of you, perhaps fearful? Our life becomes alive.


“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” – Dalai Lama


“You, the richest person in the world, have been working and struggling endlessly, not understanding that you already possess what you seek.”- The Lotus Sutra


“You get there by realising that you are already there.”- Ekhart Tollee


Mindfulness you can bring to any part of your life, let go of the attempt to change what is already there, find contentment, spaciousness, calmth, relaxation and peace. 


Somehow when you focus on them less they rise more naturally…


I don’t know why, but at some point in my life, I somehow assumed that the answer to my pain was to work it out, to problem solve, and push it away. If that feel good button, and  keep it firmly held down in place. But who was I kidding? Working myself up so much to not feel bad, really equated to not feeling at all! I know and it does not work- There is no way out of pain, the only way out is through it, and thats how I gained genuine freedom, and true relief.


Moment moment I looked inside I awakened, my vision became clear when I look into my heart, before that I was just looking outside and dreaming.


In the end, those things matter most: how well did you love? Have fully did you live? How deeply did you let go? – Gautama Buddha


By sharing something, I realised that I’m not alone, that there are a lot of people that share with me the same preoccupations, the same ideas, the same ideals and the same quest for meaning for this life. – Paulo Coelh

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