Mindfulness Mode

191 Guilt and Shame Can Be Countered by Mindfulness Says Aaron Hunnel

February 16, 2017

Aaron Hunnel is an ultra endurance athlete and health enthusiast. He holds a Certified Wellness Practitioner designation from the National Wellness Institute and he shares his vast knowledge of health and fitness by speaking and writing. Aaron helps others reach their full potential by tapping into his experience as a United States Military veteran and athlete. He emphasizes three P’s In his teachings: Positivity, Passion & Purpose. Aaron has published a book called: Upwards: Maximize Life With Positivity, Passion & Purpose.

Contact Info

Most Influential Person

  • Eckhart Tolle (Author of The Power of Now)

Effect On Emotions

  • Mindfulness puts me in a positive emotional state. I love positive emotional states because when I feel positive and I feel more energized I am more likely to do the things that are important to me and that I find valuable.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • Breathing, especially while running is so important for my mindset and my mindfulness practice. I recall specifically when I was doing the hundred mile run and how challenging it was the last six miles. So for the last six miles I developed a rhythmic breathing pattern that allowed me to focus on being present and worrying about having to do the last six miles, which was just really, really challenging. So I just focused on my breathing and I'll tell you what, Bruce, it made me just appreciate everything I was just then and there and I wasn't worried about the future. I was so fixed on the present moment that the last six miles just flew by and they weren't as tough as I thought it would be.

Suggested Resources

Bullying Story

I'm in the military and I recall a situation when I was first going to basic training. Basic training is the boot camp for the army. I remember getting off the bus and I had this really light blue suitcase with all of my stuff in it. As soon as I got off this bus, all of these drill sergeants, which are the ones that are in charge, just started attacking me. I remember specifically [them saying] ... "what do you think, are you going to Disney World? Hey Drill Sergeant, this private thinks he's going to Disney World."

So they were ridiculing me and you know that's their job. That's what they're there to do. They try to break you. I was like, oh my gosh, what is going on? Fear started to creep in and I started to think about the nine weeks that I had to spend there.

I was thinking about the future, which isn't the present moment, which isn't mindful. I just kept walking and I kept walking and I finally got to the point where I was like, I just have to internally smile and just say, it's going to be okay. So I did. I realized they're here to do this; this is their job. I have to be present right now and understand that they're just trying to make fun of me because I've got this suitcase here and I'm not actually going to Disney World. But I get to be in control of my emotions.

Sometimes I think bullying is somebody who wants to exercise control or power over somebody else. And I think mindfulness is finding a way to exercise control or power within yourself. And that's what I did right then and there. Because I found a way to exercise power and control within my own thinking and I overcame it. It ended up being a really cool experience. I loved basic training. It was a challenging experience and I had so much fun with it.