Why is mindfulness so important? When you increase self-awareness, it leads to better relationships—with yourself and others.
Jen Moff is an intuitive transformation guide and speaker. She specializes in teaching mindfulness. Trained in improvisation, Jen is a former actor who commands audiences, as she speaks around the country. Her first book, RelationSH!T, was published in 2016. She has a BFA in communication, is a certified relationship specialist by the American Psychotherapy Association, and is a member of the Women’s Speakers Association.
Jen joined me on Last First Date Radio to talk about mindfulness and how increasing self-awareness leads to better relationships.
How Mindfulness Leads to Better Relationships
What have you observed as the biggest issues with women and their relationships?
In my life and in the lives of clients and women I’ve observed, I see an unconscious masculine energy that permeates. Women tend to approach things in one of two ways:
a. I’m too independent for you and I don’t need a man. Or b. I will do everything to please you.
We tend to vacillate how we learn to be in relationships. We either cling to what our caregivers did or do the opposite in relationships.
To begin to affect change, you need these three things:
3. Reach unbearable pain. People don’t tend to change until the pain becomes unbearable.
The relationship you have with yourself is reflective of the relationship you have with others.
What was your wakeup moment?
It happened over about a 10-year period. For 6 1/2 years, I was in a relationship with a man who was emotionally, sexually, and psychologically abusive. My first sexual experience in college was date rape. That took a long time to work through. After I broke up with this toxic boyfriend, I met a guy who was charming, accepting, encouraging, but that relationship also manifested in something toxic. I got out after 2 years and realized in retrospect that he probably had a personality disorder. I did some self-discovery work and came across The 5 Regrets of the Dying, by Bronnie Ware, who worked in palliative care, tending to the dying.
She discovered five regrets that the dying consistently had:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
When I read this book, I felt like the wind was knocked out of me. These people were dying and were experiencing all these regrets. I had many years ahead of me, and didn’t want to live like this until I passed away. I had to do something about it.
I left my company, moved away, and did spiritual work on myself.
What are your five favorite mindfulness and relaxation apps and why?
1. Relax Melodies: Free on iTunes and GooglePlay store. I like that there are so many different sounds that you can create your own recipe of music that sounds good to you.
2. Calm: Great starter app. Has simple navigation. Nature sounds and imagery to transport you.
3. Enso: Only on iTunes store. Doesn’t have guided meditation. You set timer with bells to conduct your own meditation at any set time.
4. Head Space: For iTunes and Google Play Store. Fun animated videos to supplement the learning process. Has alarms you can set during the day.
5. Smiling Mind. IOS and Android. Partnered with IBM for their employees. Like a video game. You unlock achievements as you go through the app. There are different programs for different age groups. They also offer mindfulness classes.
On the computer: Brain.fm. There’s a free 7-day trial. It’s been developed to learn about you as you go through it and use it. The other apps are generic. This one is specific to your needs. There are 3 things you can do. Focus, relax, or sleep.
What are your best tips to help people live more mindful lives?
- Give yourself permission to have a better relationship with yourself and with others.
- Put yourself in a community of like-minded people.
- Find people in a similar place and a little further along than you.
- Make sure you feel safe. Learn what safe people and relationships look and feel like.
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How do you practice mindfulness in your daily life, and how does it affect you?
NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the LastFirstDate blog.