Mindfulness Matters

Abi Sivakumar
Cover art with Trish Tutton

“A key priority for me is ensuring the team not only feels supported, but has opportunities to inject balance into their day. I’ve personally gained an appreciation for mindfulness, it’s allowed me space to be still, and then move forward in my day, being my best self.” 

- Catherine Gaulton, CEO, HIROC

In 2021, HIROC introduced staff to Trish Tutton, a Mindfulness Teacher who helped shift perceptions on mindfulness through guided pauses from work. 

At HIROC, practicing mindfulness is one of the many things we do to help staff feel supported, as employee wellbeing is top of mind.

HIROC staff gather twice a month for short 15-minute guided sessions, with topics ranging from: 

  • Boosting optimism during challenging times
  • Avoiding burnout
  • Mindful communication
  • Taming anxiety
  • Resilience 
  • And much more!

“I really enjoy these sessions, they provide an opportunity for me to reflect and act on taking care of myself,” said an employee in a recent survey.

We recently caught up with Trish after one of our sessions to learn more about the importance of mindfulness and her role as mindfulness teacher.

What is your mission as a mindfulness teacher?

My mission is to help folks in high-stress, service driven industries build an unshakable mindset to thrive in times of challenge and change. 

What does mindfulness mean to you?

I love the saying "be where your feet are." To me, this is a great description of what mindfulness means and takes it from a buzzword that can seem meaningless, to a powerful way of showing up to our life.

How does practicing mindfulness in the workplace connect to a positive workplace culture?

When we are more mentally present, we're more intentional in everything we do. Another way of saying it… We're more thoughtful and purposeful. 

  • Thoughtful about how we speak to people (improved communication); 
  • Thoughtful about our stress levels, how they impact our feelings, our thoughts, our interactions (equates to better stress management, less tension, better sleep); 
  • Thoughtful about our attitudes and how they have a ripple effect to our teams (improved attitude, morale and optimism);
  • Thoughtful about our self-care (improved self-awareness and ability to resource ourselves to meet our challenges); 
  • Thoughtful about other people's perspectives (improved empathy and communication). 

Learning mindfulness together as a team (learning anything together for that matter) also fosters a growth mindset amongst a team, which is a recipe for the competitive edge in my books!

What feedback have you received from clients who have practiced mindfulness in their teams or workplace?

My favourite pieces of feedback are the ones where people really get it; that their best work, their best selves (their best lives!) are created when they are calm and present, and that stress and burnout are NOT the recipe to success (personal or professional). 

For context, I've worked in multiple cultures in the past where the people who were the most stressed, frantic and burnt out, were seen as the most successful people on the team. This was so disheartening for me personally, as I’m someone who values my wellbeing and wants to make an impact on the world with my work. 

I know many people like me who want to do great work AND take great care of their minds, bodies and hearts. I love when folks understand it CAN be done and that they'll actually accomplish their best work that way, without a high cost to their wellbeing. 

What are some examples of practicing mindfulness?

You can practice right now: read through this next part slowly, and reflect as you do. 

Start by sensing this exact moment you find yourself in. 

Take a moment to notice your surroundings: what sounds do you hear, and what else is unfolding as the seconds pass? 

Now, notice how you feel... potentially, you feel more fully here (where your feet are...And perhaps, just by attuning to your present moment, you have noticed that things are relatively okay (contrary to what your mind might have you believe with worries or fears). 

You just practiced mindfulness. 

Also, I’ll direct folks to some of my simple meditations they can find on a great free app - Insight Timer. 

How can practicing mindfulness be transformative during seasons of change and challenge?

So many ways! But I’ll share one big one for me. 

Ultimately, life is and will always be changing and therefore uncertain. I appreciate that mindfulness teaches me over and over again how to relate to the present moment from a place of acceptance, rather than trying to control it or manipulate it into being what I want it to be (I often think I know best!).

As someone who loves to plan and think I have control - this is tricky for me. I’ve learned that sometimes there is beauty in not knowing. My practice reminds me to be curious, reflective and ultimately flexible of mind. Sometimes the changes and challenges we wish would disappear, become our biggest teachers. I know this to be the case in my life. 

My biggest challenges often create the most insight and wisdom - If I can be open and curious enough to wonder ‘how might I grow from this?’ In many ways this helps me live more freely amidst changes and challenges. 

What is the most rewarding part about being a mindfulness teacher?

I love that in order to be an authentic teacher, I HAVE to practice what I preach. It keeps me honest and forces me to do the practices that ultimately make me feel less stressed and more resourced to handle the challenges in my life! 

I also love hearing things like ‘your presentation left me with "residual positive energy” which was something an audience member recently shared with me. It reminds me of the ever-present ripple effect we can have in the world depending on how we choose to show up. I’m grateful that my work often has that positive ripple effect and helps folks feel like they can handle whatever life throws at them with simple but actionable tools. 

What is the biggest misconception about practicing mindfulness, how would you debunk it?

That mindfulness means you need to be able to ‘empty’ your mind! The reality: It’s not about stopping your thoughts OR emptying your mind. It’s about becoming more self-aware of your thoughts, and improving your relationship to them (including seeing the ways your thoughts sometimes influence you for the better and for the worse). 

With practice you can be-friend your mind and your thoughts, increase your focus and presence, and reduce mental stress, anxiety and overwhelm. 


We hope absorbing the information about mindfulness brought a moment of stillness for you.

Tell us about your organization’s wellness initiatives – reach out at communications@hiroc.com.

By Abi Sivakumar, Digital Marketing Coordinator, HIROC