We’re so excited to announce our next Conscious Interview!
This month, we’ve been getting to know Dr. Barbara Mariposa, an internationally experienced medical doctor, and thought leader in the fields of mindfulness, emotion intelligence, wellness, leadership and innovation. She draws upon her extensive skills, knowledge and experience to lead the pioneering Mind Mood Mastery programme. These workshops, courses and seminars have helped countless people transform their lives, and are available for business settings of all sizes, and the general public.
She also runs a busy one to one practice combining coaching, counselling and Five Elements Acupuncture, helping top people achieve true success. Her driving passion is that we fulfil our own unique potential, are at peace with who we are, and experience true wellbeing.
She is an accomplished and inspiring public speaker and author of three books, “The Kindness Habit – transforming our relationship to addictions”, “Leading with Presence – what presence is, why it matters and how to get it”, and “The Mindfulness Playbook”, (to be published with Hodder and Stoughton in 2016).
Full details of scheduled courses can be found on her website:
So here goes!
Where is home?
Currently home is London.
When did you first come across mindfulness/meditation?
I started meditating in 1986 in Sweden when I was confused and had a lot of big decisions to make in my life. A friend invited me along to a Zen meditation session in order to find my “inner wisdom”. It worked and I never looked back. I learn every day.
Describe one practice you do everyday to keep calm and centred?
Apart for the daily silent meditation which I do for between 20 and 45 mins, I find using the BELL technique useful to bring me back to the present, no matter what is going on around me. BELL stands for:
Breathe (take a deep breath in and exhale slowly).
Expand (say the word expand – this counteracts our tendency to contract when under pressure).
Listen (what can you hear right now? Focus on that).
Look (describe something that you can see in front of you right now).
Using BELL cuts through the chatter in my head and I come to my senses.
How can the business world benefit from mindfulness?
On the first level, mindfulness helps counteract stress, anxiety and exhaustion which are rampant, if silent, causes of ill health, presenteeism and absenteeism in the business world. Beyond that, mindfulness helps us be clear-headed, focussed, emotionally connected and present. It boosts creativity and collaboration which in turn lead to greater innovation and engagement in the workplace. It’s about human energy and connectedness. Being mindful is a way of being in the world that generates better energy, communication, honesty and trust. All of which bring a huge ROI on a business’s bottom line.
What does ‘digital wellbeing’ mean to you?
Digital wellbeing means having your digital devices be of service to you so that you are their master not their slave. The problem is that digital usage has an inbuilt addictive factor. We have yet to learn how to master all the apps, games, newsletters, social media devices, etc, so that they do not eat away at our time and energy. Digital wellbeing means coming from a position of choice. Talk to people in queues and on public transport. Give your brain a break: it can’t cope with constant information input. Leave aside all devices half an hour before you go to bed. Do not sleep with your smart phone under your pillow and check it before you get out of bed in the morning. Set aside designated times to deal with emails and stick to that. Do one task at a time, and do not get sucked into hopping from one social media service or webpage link to another, unless intentionally. Put aside all devices at mealtimes and designate one day a month as digital free.
Do you think technology will increase or decrease wellbeing?
Like anything it has the potential to do both. Telemedicine makes modern techniques available to people in far-flung places, but nothing replaces being in touch with real people in real time. Knowing what is happening all over the world creates powerful ways for people to join together and generate social action, but at the same time we are in “empathy overload” from seeing suffering on a global scale. It’s all about making conscious intelligent choices that look at long-term consequence rather than short-term gain, too often for financial incentive. Ultimately human beings thrive best when engaged in activities that promote social cohesion. We are designed that way. We need to be in touch with real people in real time. Nothing can replace that.
Paperback or kindle?
Evidence suggests that we learn better, retain information better and assimilate knowledge more deeply when reading real books rather than virtual books. We process information differently. Kindle is convenient especially when travelling, but the paper book will never die. Plus what can be better than browsing through shelves of a wonderful old bookshop? It’s the emotional connection, the smells, the feel, the touch. Humans are emotional beings. Our emotions make us human. We need multi sensory input in three dimensions.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Never look up to anyone. Never look down on anyone. Seek out the good in everyone and talk to the human being not their garbage. Oh, and never take advice.
What is your favourite quote?
What a difficult question. So many quotes, so little time (cf Frank Zappa!). For now let’s go with this one from Martin Luther King:
“A dream remains a dream so long as we hesitate to put it into action. The lives and the words that remain behind all great men inspire us not only to reflect, but also to act in harmony with our vision. Their lives remind us that we are not asked to do great things… we are asked only to do all things with great care, to honour our individual moral worth while always considering the wellbeing of those who surround us.”
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
Right here, where I am. My family are all here. And so my heart is here. Home is where my heart is.
I may cast adrift in dreams of pleasanter lands, warmer climes, better times. But experience has shown me that we take our shadow selves with us wherever we go. Better to be at peace on the inside, with an inner landscape of love, generosity and kindness. Then we increase the peace wherever we are.
P.S. Whenever you are ready… here are 4 ways we can support your personal and professional Conscious Goals:
1. Access Free Live Meditations & Energy Transmissions
Inside our private Facebook Group, The Conscious Professional Mindful Community where Neil leads live weekly community events. Join now for free.
2. Learn To Meditate With Neil Seligman In Just 10 Days!
Zen in Ten, our flagship online course, is a ten-day mindfulness challenge for people who need to slow down.
3. Work With Neil One-To-One
See if a Conscious Coaching Partnership is right for you. Book a 15-minute discovery call with Neil here.
4. Bring The Conscious Professional To Your Business
See if The Conscious Professional training and coaching programmes are right for your team or workplace. Book a call here.
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