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  • Erin Gleason Alvarez

Here's the Real Story on How I Found Mindfulness

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Autumn is a season of transitions, a series of pronounced reminders that life is constantly in flux. Summer temperatures drop away, September skies seem somehow clearer, with vibrantly colored leaves scattered everywhere.

In many ways, autumn is also a time of new beginnings. As we enter this new season, it is important to reflect on those habits, beliefs, and attitudes that we can also release.


This process began for me in the fall of 2016, recovering from surgery and a terrifying cancer scare (ultimately and thankfully ruled benign).

In those days post-op and on bed rest, I realized that I needed to make a series of changes in my life.

For me, this meant slowing down and embracing gratitude. I started meditating every morning. And I made a list of the changes I had to make in my life. Every day, I visualized those changes coming to fruition.

At this point, they’ve all been realized.

As I continued developing my mindfulness practice, the connections to negotiation became apparent. The word “negotiation” so often evokes heavy emotions – fear, anger, anxiety, stress. The same emotions we seek to identify and release in mindfulness practices.

Moreover, the skills we hone in mindfulness practice – proceeding with non-judgment, active listening, releasing expectations – are also critical in the negotiation space.

That’s why I founded Take Charge. It did not seem right to me that negotiation should have such negative connotations. Negotiation is about opportunities, not obstacles.

It’s been my great honor to single-handedly train so many people – over 1,500 in two years – on the benefits a mindfulness practice brings to the negotiation table. To take the lessons I’ve had to learn and transform them into positive teachings for others.

So, today I am launching a new online course, Mindfulness in Negotiation: An Introduction. While much of the training work I do now is in corporations and law firms, this class is open to everybody.

Mindfulness in Negotiation: An Introduction

Through this course, I encourage you to develop mindfulness practices in your daily life and at the negotiation table. By dedicating a few minutes each day to slowing down, quieting your mind, and observing your thoughts and emotions, you will begin to experience the benefits that mindfulness practices can bring to your day and to all of the negotiations you experience.

I love doing this work. Creating a space for people to decompress and release all of those heavy emotions around negotiation has been tremendously rewarding for me. But listening to how these techniques have made a difference for so many people has been the real reward.

Thanks for reading. Be well.

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