Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2014

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/385684

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Page 54 of 71

d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 4 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 53 From Fortune 1000 companies to professional athletics, mindfulness training has become mainstream. Here is what it can do for you. THINKSTOCKPHOTOS acceptance, and compassion for oneself and others. Te most common form of mindfulness training is meditation. As Peterson learned, mindfulness is cultivated by activities aimed at quieting the mind and enhancing the capacity for insight. Tese include meditation, devel- oping body awareness, and deliberately redirecting thoughts away from the past and the future and onto what's happen- ing in the moment. General Mills is one of a number of companies embracing mindful- ness as a way to ease work- day stress for employees, improve leadership, and cultivate happier and more productive work- places. Among the growing list of other major employ- ers ofering mindfulness training are Genentech and Aetna, as well as top tech frms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and eBay. "Most of us are 21st- century jugglers," says By Marguer ite Rigoglioso L ike many working women, Michelle Peterson felt torn. Newly promoted to business unit direc- tor of baking at General Mills, she had just returned from maternity leave and found that the conficting demands of her job, her twin girls, and the other re- sponsibilities in her life were keeping her constantly running—and feeling guilty. "I liked my job and wanted to work, yet my babies had been born prematurely and were struggling with health issues," she says. Ten Peterson learned about a retreat on mindful leadership training to be held at her company. "I envisioned dread- ful long days of meditation and things I wasn't going to understand," she admits, but because her supervisor was a great advocate for the training, she was per- suaded to go. "It was nothing less than life changing, and I don't use that term lightly," Peter- son says of the intensive. She returned from the retreat able to deal with work and home in a completely new way that has aforded her greater peace, balance, and fulfllment in both do- mains. What Is Mindfulness? Peterson's transforma- tion began through sev- eral days of practice to cultivate "mindfulness"— what stress-reduction expert Jon Kabat-Zinn calls "nonjudgmental moment-to-moment awareness." Put most simply, this means paying attention to the now with focus, To Your Health DW Life > DW Life > Minding Your Business

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