Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Executive Producer & featured interview Jewel Kilcher shares in the film, available to watch here, a number of mindfulness techniques she taught herself as a homeless teenager.
Before she became famous, Jewel was living on the streets in San Diego. She was suffering from panic attacks & her mind was racing with self-defeating thoughts. She’d never heard of the word mindfulness. She just knew she needed something to help calm her mind & regain control of her life.
Jewel says in the film, “I had to develop a lot of strategies while I was homeless to survive. How to rewire a lot of these self-defeating thoughts that I had. What was I thinking? Could you choose your thoughts? I began to look at curating my thoughts much more carefully than I cared about any other thing. I decided to start watching my hands because the hands are the servants of your thought. By forcing myself to be observant in real time of my hands, I made myself present in the moment. When I did that, my anxiety calmed down. That put me in the driver’s seat. It meant I wasn’t a victim of my brain.” That present moment awareness & the belief that she could change her own life became key themes in her popular song “Hands.”
Another of Jewel’s techniques is called “antidote thoughts” which she describes this way: “A thought that plagued me a lot was that I didn’t know what I was doing. That would send me into a tail spin multiple times in my life. I would just start by coming up with what is the opposite of that. The opposite is I know what I’m doing. Well that was a lie. But I was capable of learning. So that became my antidote. I’m capable of learning and I won’t give up until I do.” Can you create an antidote thought for something you’re struggling with?
Jewel shares these present moment awareness techniques & others for free at JewelNeverBroken.com. She also teaches them to at-risk kids as part of her Jewel Never Broken program at the Inspiring Children Foundation which is featured in the film. Those techniques are an important reminder that meditation is not the only way to develop a mindful quality of attention. You can walk, brush your teeth, do the dishes, deeply listen to someone else or do anything else mindfully by focusing on the present moment without judgement, being aware of the thoughts, feelings, sensations that arise, and, if your mind wanders, then gently return your focus to what you’re doing.
For more information, inspiring stories of personal transformation & examples of mindfulness helping people throughout society, check out our movie at TheMindfulnessMovement.com. It’s already been seen in 90+ countries, is available with subtitles in many languages & includes 4 free bonus videos.
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