Erin Lee: Mindful Living – Cultivating Present-Moment Awareness | Doing Well #37

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Erin Lee, a prominent mental health advocacy figure

Modern lifestyles often prioritize productivity and achievement over inner peace and emotional well-being, leaving individuals feeling unfulfilled and disconnected. Practicing mindfulness encourages individuals to cultivate focused attention and intentionality, enabling them to immerse themselves in each moment with clarity and presence.

Meet Erin Lee

Erin Lee is the Founder and Mindfulness Coach of Mindful Moments Singapore. She is a mindfulness practitioner and advocates mindfulness as a way of life. Her vision is to help more and more people learn mindfulness skills and incorporate mindfulness practice into their daily lives to improve their well-being. 

She is also a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher recognized by the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Center for Mindfulness. Erin has completed the UCSD School of Medicine’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training Intensive and Advanced Teacher Training Intensive for MBSR and MBCT Teachers in California. 

Erin is trained to teach the mindfulness program to teenagers and young adults, as recognized by the Mindfulness in Schools Project. She holds a Master of Science in Studies in Mindfulness from the University of Aberdeen, UK. She is a Professional Certified Stress Management Consultant recognized by the Institute of Motivational Living. ​Erin conducts mindfulness training for corporate clients and organizations in English and Chinese and is also an experienced polytechnic lecturer. 

Outside school, Erin enjoys writing, reading, and singing. She regularly contributes as a vocalist for the recording of Dharma music. 

About the episode

Mindfulness, often misconstrued as a trend, goes beyond the superficial. At its core, mindfulness is about being present and fully engaged with whatever an individual is doing now—free from distraction or judgment. This awareness practice enhances well-being and transforms relationships with stress, making it a crucial life skill. 

Lee shared that mindfulness is not about emptying the mind or achieving a state of blissful ignorance of the world. Instead, it’s about being acutely aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the environment in the present moment. This heightened awareness enables people to respond to life’s challenges with clarity and wisdom rather than reacting out of habit or impulse.

Mindful living extends beyond personal well-being to improve interactions and relationships. Individuals can foster deeper connections and understanding by being present and attentive during conversations. Mindful communication involves actively listening, withholding judgment, and responding thoughtfully, which can significantly enhance the quality of relationships.

Lee shared some practical tips for mindful living:

  • Start with a Morning Meditation: Dedicate a few minutes each morning to sit quietly and focus on breathing. This practice can set a mindful tone for the day ahead.
  • Integrate Mindfulness into Daily Activities: Whether brushing your teeth, eating, or walking, try to do these activities with full awareness. Pay attention to the sensations, the process, and the present moment.
  • Practice Active Listening: In conversations, give the speaker full attention. Listen without planning the response. This not only enhances communication but also deepens relationships.
  • Embrace a Mindful Mindset: Remind yourself regularly to be present. Post-it notes, alarms, or setting specific cues can help keep mindfulness in mind.

Contrary to the common impulse to avoid or escape stress, mindfulness teaches people to face it head-on. By observing reactions to stress without judgment, people can gain insights into their habitual patterns and learn to respond more adaptively. This approach does not eliminate stress but changes the relationship with it, making everyone more resilient in life’s inevitable challenges. 

In conclusion

Mindful living is not a destination but a journey that enriches one’s life in profound ways. Mindfulness practices can cultivate a deeper awareness of oneself and surroundings, improving well-being, stronger relationships, and a more resilient approach to stress. The key to mindfulness is consistency, not perfection. It is a journey of self-discovery and growth, allowing individuals to cultivate a deeper connection with themselves and others.

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