Mindfulness is a word we hear more and more these days. In essence mindfulness means we are fully present in all that we do…our mind is focussed on our activity in the moment rather than being elsewhere. We pay attention in a particular way…without judgment or reaction. It is a way of relating to our experiences which is kind, compassionate, real and honest. We are totally aware in the moment. So we aren’t mulling over a conversation we had with our boss whilst we are washing the dishes. We are fully focussed on the dishes. Totally absorbed in those soap suds….because that’s what we are doing right now.
Mindfulness is at the heart of many spiritual traditions and has now seeped into every-day language in the west and can be heard in leadership and management development, child development and psychological and emotional well-being circles. I wonder why this is. Perhaps it’s because the world we live in is so busy and full that it’s easy to slip into less than mindful behaviour and the associated problems that creates (stress, damaged relationships, accidents to name but a few). Mindfulness is needed in our lives more than ever before and whilst we probably knew how to be mindful as children we may need to unlearn some habits in order to live more mindfully as adults.