28-Day Challenge Week 2: Looking Inward
Welcome to Week 2 of the 28-Day Challenge!
Congratulations on showing up and getting off to a good start – and keep up the good work! Even if you missed a day or two…or even three or more, that’s fine. Just observe your thoughts and emotions in response to how you’ve been participating and recommit today. Remember, you can always begin again in each moment and each week…and part of this practice is learning how to pay attention with focus, kindness and curiosity to what happens, so you can bring your attention back. That’s where the real work happens to build these focus muscles! As before, the dedicated and integrated practices for each day are below, plus some reflection questions to consider after each of your practices.
Start with the video below to learn more about the theme for this week: Looking Inward.
Return to Week 1 Practices
Week 2 – Day 8
Focused Attention by Stephanie Klein
Try a mindful listening practice today. In your next conversation or meeting, practice putting all of your attention on the person(s) with whom you are speaking. When you listen, give your full attention to the speaker and don’t ask questions or think about how you’ll respond. Instead, give the full quality of your attention as a gift. You may acknowledge the other person with facial and body expressions, such as nodding your head, without speaking. Simply be present.
What impact does bringing your full attention to a conversation have on you or those around you?
Week 2 – Day 9
Whole Body Breathing
Whole Body Breathing by Stephanie Klein
During a transition time today (e.g. between meetings at work, just before entering your house, just before going to bed), pause and take a whole body breath.
How does stopping to take a whole body breath affect your mood or attitude?
Week 2 – Day 10
Open Awareness by Stephanie Klein
Write for 2 full minutes for each journaling prompt below. Once you’ve finished, take a minute to reread what you wrote and reflect.
Practice using an open-awareness mindset as you respond to the following journaling prompts:
1. Some effects of this practice period for me have been …
2. What I’m surprised about in my life right now is …
Week 2 – Day 11
Body Scan by Stephanie Klein
In your next meeting or conversation with someone today, try listening mindfully while also putting some attention on your body language & your breathing.
How does the way you use your body impact how you feel? For example, when you smile, how do you feel? How do others respond? How does attention on your body language and breathing impact your communication?
Week 2 – Day 12
Simply Stopping by Stephanie Klein
Try a ‘Hands on Chair’ practice when you move to a new meeting, meal or situation. Once you sit down, simply place your hands on the chair, take a breath and check in with your intention for that meeting or activity. Whenever you notice your mind wander, try placing your hands on the chair to reconnect with your intention.
What impact did stopping and checking in with your intention have on your next activity?
Week 2 – Day 13
Relieving Stress by Stephanie Klein
Pick an activity today that has the potential to trigger you or cause you stress. Perhaps it’s traffic, or a particular job or activity, or possibly an interaction with a difficult person. When you begin that activity, make a commitment to notice any trigger or stress response and use the stress as a reminder to 1) Stop and 2) Take a Breath. Just these two simple steps creates a ‘sacred pause’, so you can navigate and respond more thoughtfully and skillfully.
1. What were the signals that a trigger response or stress was present?
2. What parts of the ‘sacred pause’ were easy for you? Difficult?
3. How did practicing this ‘sacred pause’ impact the outcome of the situation?
Week 2 – Day 14
Compassion by Stephanie Klein
Write for 2 full minutes for each journaling prompt below. Use freestyle journaling where you don’t lift your pen or pencil from the paper for the full amount of time, so you can help your mind to open up and encourage thoughts to flow. If you have nothing to write, and all you can think of is “I have nothing to say”, then just keep writing “I have nothing to say”…and see what happens. Once you’ve finished, take a minute to reread what you wrote and reflect.
1. Areas of my life where I can be more forgiving are …
2. If I were more forgiving of these areas, it would allow me to …