Mindfulness Challenge: Day 2


Today’s mindfulness challenge is beautiful in its simplicity. How often do we find ourselves multitasking, leaving on music or TV for company or distraction, or somehow avoiding being alone with ourselves? This exercise is meant to be different from our usual ways of being, without too many detailed instructions.

To start, set a timer for 5 minutes (or longer if you’re up for it). Trust this timer to let you know when to stop. Find a comfortable, supported seated position and allow your eyes to gently close. Until the timer goes off, simply listen. Listen to the ambient noises of the space you are in. Listen for louder sounds as well as softer, subtler sounds you might not have noticed right away. When your mind drifts, as minds tend to do, notice that it has drifted and gently, compassionately guide your mind back to listening. Listen without judgment. Your sole task for these 5 minutes is to just listen. When the timer goes off, listen to that sound for a moment too before opening your eyes. Remember the point is not to feel relaxed but to engage with the world differently and to pay attention. You are invited to open up to what you might discover by simply listening.

This is often one of my go-to mindfulness exercises. It proves that we don’t need a whole lot of complexity to practice paying attention – we have everything we need in the simple sounds around us. I will often amend this to suit short moments: when I need to collect myself in 30 seconds or less I can always close my eyes and listen with my whole attention for a brief moment before proceeding with a clearer headspace. I hope you find this useful in your practice!


About Aga Grabowski, LCSW, PMH-C, CST (she/her)

I am a co-founder of Wildflower, a psychotherapist, a presenter and a consultant in the area of perinatal and reproductive mental health.  Many other aspects of my personal identity shape my clinical work: chief among them is the family and immigrant background which has informed my attunement to the psychological upheaval that accompanies major life transitions and to the many sociocultural forces that impact our lived experience.

In my clinical work, I am focused on helping people thrive and cope during periods of significant change, and particularly during journeys towards and through parenthood which may involve infertility, losses, depression, anxiety, and conflict.  I work with people from all walks in life. Clients I work with are some of the strongest, most resilient folks I know. They don’t always feel this way, and they come to therapy feeling raw, maybe lost, and certainly quite vulnerable. It takes courage to confront your pain and struggle. I view psychotherapy as a deeply collaborative process that aims to help you discover and tap into your strengths and resources.  You already have what it takes to feel better, be happier, face challenges – good psychotherapy basically helps you access all that. This can only happen if your therapist genuinely cares about and respects you and is invested in their own ongoing professional development and personal growth.

I have extensive training in perinatal and reproductive mental health, evidence-based treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, sex therapy, and trauma.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Chicago and obtained my master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.  I often present on topics related to mental health. I am an AASECT-certified sex therapist and a certified perinatal mental health clinician. My most valuable learning experiences come from my clients: their experience, wisdom and perspective have shaped my clinical practice the most, something I am deeply grateful for.

LCSW License Number:149016046
Type 1 NPI Number: 1841631132
Accepts: BCBS PPO and BlueChoice plans, Lyra, self-pay and out of network clients


Selected training and affiliation
AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist
Certified Perinatal Mental Health Clinician
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Training
Bringing Baby Home Educator Training, Gottman Institute
Circle of Security Parent Educator
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) training
Gottman Method Level 1 training
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training

Key beliefs
People are stronger and more resilient than they often realize.
Our culture teaches us to be fiercely independent. To thrive, we need to embrace being interdependent -- deep connection with others is essential for happiness.

More about me
I love the outdoors and hiking, camping, kayaking.
I can’t live without chocolate.
I feel grateful every day for getting to do the work I love.