Health & Wellness

Interview with Lee Papa, Mindfulness & Meditation Speaker

Written by NWES Team Member- Victoria Blasich

This year at the Northwest Event Show, you’ll not only have the chance to wander the aisles, networking and discovering how events can help grow your business, you’ll get the chance to learn how to grow personally as well.

Lee Papa, internationally recognized and leading Mindfulness & Meditation Speaker, Trainer and Coach will be with us this year hosting her signature “Mindfulness LoungeTM” . Any attendee with an EDU or VIP pass will have the chance to experience Lee and her vision in person. We couldn’t wait until November, so we asked a few questions that have been weighing on us for a while and Lee was more than happy to help!

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Northwest Event Show (NWES): Mindfulness is a tricky subject to define for a lot of people. When you’re teaching “mindfulness” what is that exactly?

Lee Papa (LP): Simply put, Mindfulness is Awareness. Awareness of your thoughts, words, actions and the world around you in non-judgement.  That’s the tricky part.  The non-judgement. And since we tend to judge ourselves the most, we typically – especially beginners, bring that to meditation practice. 

NWES: Non-Judgement, what is that concept?

LP: Instead of observing your surroundings and actions and placing them into mental categories and planning actions of good, bad or neutral based on your previous life experiences and cognitive processes, you are simply open to them. Non-Judgement is letting go of the automatic judgments that arise in your mind with every experience you have.

NWES: What do you think the biggest hurdle is for people to embrace mindfulness? For an individual and a corporation?

LP:  That is easy; [the biggest hurdle is] making their mindfulness practice a priority. It takes the individual to give it the necessary commitment it is due. It does not happen by osmosis. The individual or corporation must take responsibility to make it a priority.

NWES:  Sometimes, mindfulness conversations are answered with mocking tones, how can someone new to the process bring up the topic?

LP:  Practice mindfulness yourself and the fear of ridicule will melt away. Lead by example. There are many powerful and successful business-people who practice meditation and mindfulness and swear by it.

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NWES: We’ve all heard the concern or worry that ‘mindfulness’ may be seen as laziness, since so much of the corporate world celebrates stressful days and working non-stop. Working hard, staying late, pushing yourself to the limit seems to the be norm in the business community. How can someone still be productive, but stay mindful? And not make co-workers and employers feel like they are slacking off?

LP: I would say…”Who cares?!”  HAHA!  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  Own your health and wellbeing.  Make you a priority. One of my mantras that I provide my students that taps into this question is… “Nourish Yourself Mindfully, Give From The Overflow.”

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The simple answer is that you actually become more productive with more ease and grace when you practice mindfulness in your daily life. More success with less effort.  It is just an old antiquated program that most are running in their subconscious that “Stress is a Badge of Honor”. And “Stress is a requirement to get the job done.” Nope! It is not! I would suggest working with a Coach to help guide you through the early stages of the emerging and awakened being that you will become during the process of self-observation through mindfulness practice to shift that old program.

And quite honestly things are shifting in a big way.  Over the last few years, I have experienced an enormous shift in the industry and more and more people are embracing the practice. And offering it in their meetings and training their employees.

NWES: The idea of ‘Meditation’ comes with a lot of baggage and pre-conceived notions. How do you introduce people to this and keep their minds open about it?

LP:  Meditation and mindfulness are practices that often elude the very ones who need it most.  I keep things simple, accessible, fun and experiential.  Because once the individual, who has not been able to successfully quiet the mind or meditate previously, has an experience in one of my Mindfulness Lounges™, they are instantly converts and huge supporters.  It changes their life! I have been teaching meditation and mindfulness to professionals for many years.  I have heard, and experienced myself in the beginning, all the resistance you can imagine.  I understand how to break through it and provide meeting attendees with a tool and takeaway that is mind shifting. 

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NWES: What do you suggest for people who are not interested in Meditation breaks, how else can they work on being mindful and recharging during the day?

LP: There are many forms of meditation that can kick start an individual into awareness.  Simply taking a walk with no electronics.  Breathing rhythmically.  Journaling.  These are good places to start.  However, the key is consistency.  Mindfulness Training, as I teach it goes far beyond the mind.  Meditation is a part of it but not one in the same.   Mindfulness equals awareness.  So, begin to be aware in non-judgement of the words that you speak and the thoughts that you carry.  Are they nourishing and optimal or are they poisoning your productive path to wellbeing?

NWES:  What is a question that you never get asked, but would love to answer?

LP:  What is the meaning of life? I’m kidding, and while I may not know the answer; I do know where the answer resides.  Within.

NWES: Thank you so much for being a part of the Northwest Event Show family this year! One last question. If you had a week to spend in Seattle, what would you do?

LP: I would take a food and culture tour each day that specializes in a specific area of town. North, East, South, West Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia etc. Explore the museums in the city and of course nature walks!

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Lee Papa will be speaking and leading meditation sessions at this years Northwest Event Show. Open to all attendees with an EDU or VIP pass, you’ll learn more than you thought possible at a tradeshow! Register now for your EDU or VIP pass if you haven’t yet, and if you would like to upgrade your General Admission pass, click here!  

 Victoria Blasich- Event Marketing Manager at Freemind Seattle. A boutique marketing agency focused on creating distinctive marketing campaigns and impactful event strategy to help you connect with your customers in cool and unusual ways.