Pulse May / June 2023 | Page 16



Lucas IRWIN Mindful Meditation

WITH MORE THAN 20 YEARS in the health and wellness industry , Lucas Irwin has committed his professional career to helping others live healthier and happier lives . Lucas will open the Power Session with a mindfulness meditation , guiding attendees to begin the session with a moment of total well-being , health and happiness .
Pulse : Spa leaders know the value of comprehensive wellness but we don ’ t always practice it for ourselves . What is a good first step ? Lucas Irwin : It is incredibly common within health and wellness industries for the providers to neglect their own care , in an effort to better serve their clients and customers . It is easy to overlook the obvious fault in that pattern ; a diminished version of ourselves cannot provide optimal service and care . Whereas , the healthiest , happiest version of ourselves can deliver the highest iteration of service , care and connection .
We all have places in our lives that we can improve or adjust for the better . I always recommend that you start with one small thing , something that you can undoubtably stick to that will also make a noticeable difference . A few of the countless examples could be to meditate for two minutes every morning , to read before bed instead of scrolling social media , stop or reduce soda intake , or go for a 15-minute walk three days per week . The important thing here is we aren ’ t trying to change our entire life overnight ; but we are beginning to build a foundation and some momentum that we can slowly and steadily build upon .
Pulse : Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction ( MBSR ) is a hot topic . What is the elevator pitch for this program / philosophy ? LI : MBSR is a well-established mindfulness program with over 30 years of extensive research and scientific evidence to support is efficacy . The teaching is an invitation to pay more attention to our experience , deepen our connection to the life we are living and find what may be available to us in the present moment . By many estimates , we spend approximately 50 percent of our time thinking or ruminating about the future and the past , all while missing
the moment we are currently in ( our real life ). So much of our struggle is rooted in our own thoughts , stories , catastrophizing , anxiety and worry — not in reality . The consequences of mismanaging this stress can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing .
Mindfulness offers us a possible solution and tool to better manage stress and connect with the present .
Pulse : What tools are needed to get started with mindful meditation ? LI : One of the amazing things about meditation is that all you need is a willingness to try — no money , special tools or capabilities . Most people find guided meditation recordings to be tremendously supportive , especially when first getting started . These guided meditations are free and easy to find online or on an app ; I generally recommend searching for “ awareness of breath meditation ” or “ attentional focus meditation .” At first , do not worry about how long the meditations are : Pick a duration that feels accessible to you ; what matters the most is consistency . It would undoubtably be better for you to meditate for two minutes every day than it would for you to do 20 minutes , twice per week . Make a commitment to yourself to try and do it every day for a certain number of days , I generally recommend at least 14 days .
The Rebel Mindfulness Youtube channel has versions from two to 20 minutes .
Pulse : What should attendees expect from the Mindful Meditation at ISPA Conference ? LI : I love that you used the word “ expect ” in the question . In meditation and in life , expectations can be problematic . I would encourage everyone to attend with an open mind , free of expectation or preference . We will have an experience together , that we know for sure . What exactly that experience will be , we cannot be certain . Regardless of the experience in each session , my goal is always to provide participants with tools they can carry with them and apply immediately in their lives … helping to bring them closer to the present moment and the opportunities that exist here . n
14 PULSE n MAY / JUNE 2023