Mindfulness is trickier than we might think. It’s more than concentrating. It’s more than simply ‘being present’. Mindfulness is about engaging your whole being in the moment—your attention, your physical and emotional bodies; your psychic energy. We become so invested in the moment; we lose conscious awareness of the need to invest. We let should, would and could fall away, and simply do.
You can imagine the benefits…
Why then aren’t we mindful all the time? What holds us back? Why is it easier said than done?
Challenges at work
We spend so much time at work. It can be the joy or bane of our lives—sometimes all at the same time. 🙂 For most of us, it would seem to be the perfect time to act mindfully. So why is mindfulness still approached with some scepticism in the workplace? Following are a few observations:
‘Should‘ takes prime position
How regularly do you find yourself saying (or thinking!) ‘I should call a meeting with … I should be calling… I should [insert X]’. Even if not overtly encouraged, in my experience, ‘should’ is usually a staple among the unwritten cultural norms in the workplace.
Should is ambivalent. It can build us up or tear us down. Should can bring needed urgency to a situation. It can spark ideas in a brainstorming session or help us think through the steps as we document a procedure. But like everything else, should can become all-consuming. Should can disparage and belittle us if we let it. We find ourselves unable to move forward. Stuck.
The drive for productivity can lend itself to should if we allow it.
Imagine yourself sweeping all the ‘I could be’s’, ‘I should do’s’, ‘if only I’s’, off the table and on to the floor. The tasks will see be there, and they will rise to the top at the right time if you are using a trusted system.
Mindfulness requires we take stock. We need to slow down before we can be present. We cannot open our awareness to our surroundings and to the work we’re doing if we’re running on a treadmill after ‘should’.
We allow ourselves to absorb negative outlooks
Thanks for spending time with me today.
Photo by Liana R.