There are always topics that society diagnose as taboo. Who and how that is determined is intriguing but for now not the topic of this mindfulness blog. Years ago when the word “meditation” popped up into our vocabulary we regarded it as a cross-legged sitting exercise that yogis or monks did to control their mind or to pass the time; who knows? It was something practiced in the far distance and we felt safe. Now, it’s right here and something that people talk about all the time. These conversations aren’t about meditation for private use or relaxation benefits, but the use of meditation in a corporate work setting. You think I’m joking? Think about how many of your friends either talk about or actively practice meditation.
The cousin of mindless is mindful
Meditation is one of many ways for us to become mindful in our daily activities, be that at work or in our private lives. Mindless is the art of being on autopilot – something we might recognise and practice regularly. This would mean going through the motions of the day without taking a moment to recognise or appreciate anything. You’ll notice it in a missed smile from a colleague, a tender touch from your partner, or the taste of a home cooked meal. There is little difference between Sputnik the robot and people when they’re in autopilot mode. We function, nothing more and nothing less.
The cousin of mindless is mindful. Mindful pays attention, is in the moment to observe, take-in, absorb and participate in being present, in the here and now. Mindless lives in the past or future and mindful in the now. Mindless is easy to accomplish but it comes with no fulfilment, whereas mindful takes conscious practice but the rewards are worth it!
How to become mindful is the question and you don’t have to meditate if you don’t want to. I also would not recommend it in the early stages because your reptilian brain loves to chat uninterrupted and needs training to become disciplined which is what meditation does. Let’s begin slowly and ease into this gently.
As a start let’s bring mindfulness into our daily work life, practicing it every day for a couple of minutes. Start by becoming more mindful before attending a meeting by following these five steps:
- Become aware of your thoughts and emotions before the meeting. Are they appropriate for the meeting? Do you need to take a moment and sift through your emotions?
- What is the intention of the meeting? Why was the meeting called? What does it aim to achieve?
- How can you best participate and contribute in a positive manner?
- Are there any below the surface topics or conflicts that need to be addressed?
- Is this timing right for the meeting? I’m referring here to the circumstances of the meeting and not if you physically have the time.
Try these simple five steps over the next week by bringing all of you to a meeting and not just your physical body. If used appropriately you should experience much better connections, make good decisions and save time.