What is being mindful? I have had a few conversations this week about the difference between mindfulness and meditation – the latter can often be confused as the only source of becoming mindful.
Meditation sure is a powerful source of practising mindfulness and tuning into yourself, whether that is physically and/or mentally.
I’ve been listening to the philosopher Alan Watts for the last few weeks and something he said had a very powerful effect on me. ‘there is no past or future there is only NOW’. I thought Yes! how spot on. We only ever experience the NOW. We may remember the past or think about the future, however we still only ever experience the now – the present moment.
This is it folks! Now! And now…and now…and now…and now….and now…
This consciousness of the now is vital to enable shifting one’s behaviour over time – and for good. Most of my clients work with me on this over a 3-12month period. As we all react in the now and at lightning speed (human reaction time is said to be somewhere between 150-300 milliseconds), it takes practise to develop the necessary awareness.
As a leader being mindful can be a huge asset to transforming results. For a leader being conscious in the moment can be the difference between creating a powerful conversation full of opportunities or reacting in defence, making assumptions and ultimately putting a wall up which closes off possibilities.
As the holocaust survivor, neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom’
So here’s a few ways to practise being actively conscious in the moment:
- NOTICE – I cannot emphasise this enough! Paying attention to NOTICE what is happening in this very moment. This could be visual thing, a taste, a smell, something you hear and/or a thought you are currently thinking
- Physical sensations – practise noticing the physical sensations in your body. Changes in physical sensations can be caused by many things, including the lightening speed of our thoughts. See if you can notice when you have a different sensation, particularly any change of energy or emotional state
- Thinking and feeling – practise noticing how your thoughts and physical feelings are connected. When you noticed a change in energy, state or emotion – ask yourself…what was happening at the time? When did it start or change?
So enjoy yourself, enjoy being in the here and now…with you