Mindfulness is a skill we need to develop through regular practice, and the opportunities are all around us.
It was a beautiful morning for a walk with the dog today, and my 7 year old son decided to come with me.
Usually when I walk alone I use the time to work things through in my mind.
Something about all the fresh air and gentle exercise gets the old brain cells working in a different way than sitting down in front of a screen or notepad!
But when Rowan comes with me it’s always a very different experience.
Lost in thought
Instead of working through past events or thinking about the future we spend a lot more time locked into the present moment.
Listening to a woodpecker drilling away.
Noticing the sun coming up over the trees.
Cracking the ice on the puddles, feeling the frozen mud crunch under our boots, watching the dog crash through the undergrowth…
It got me thinking about mindfulness, and how we spend so much of our time inside our own heads getting lost in the past or projecting out to the future.
And how mindfulness helps me to focus on the present moment, with no judgement, analysis, expectation or interpretation… simply noticing.
It’s a skill to be developed, rather than an innate ability.
A wandering mind
My mind constantly wondered as we wandered this morning:
>> Me: I’m aware of the feel of the ground, the sound of the birds, the presence of my son…
>> Also Me: This is awesome, I’m being totally mindful right now, I should share this in an email later today…
>> Me: Hold that thought, let’s stay with the moment… the sun is shining and the dog is running…
>> Also Me: Running… perhaps I should try to get out for a run later…
Our default setting is to live in the past or the future.
Focusing on the moment that’s happening right now requires conscious effort, but it can help bring you greater clarity, happiness and a deeper experience of life.
Experiment with mindfulness
Commit to experimenting with mindfulness this week.
No judgement, no expectations, no analysis.
Just notice what you notice and when your thoughts go off track gently pull them back and begin again.
Mindfulness In The Workplace
I’m giving a talk on my interpretation of mindfulness to a company next week.
Not just what it is and how it can help with supporting wellbeing, but how to easily access it and start developing the ‘mental muscle’.
I’m looking to share these messages with other organisations in the next few months, so if you work for a company who you think might benefit, let me know the best way for me to get in touch.