What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is not thinking, interpreting, or evaluating; it is an awareness of perception. It is a nonjudgmental quality of mind which does not anticipate the future or reflect back on the past.

Any activity can be done with mindfulness. Talking on the telephone, cleaning your home, driving, working, and exercising can all be incorporated into a mindfulness practice.

Throughout the day, inwardly pause and become very aware of where you are, what you are doing, and how you are feeling. Try to do this in a way that doesn’t cast value judgments on your experience. For example, if you notice that you are nervous, don’t think “Oh, I’m nervous, that’s so stupid of me…” Simply note, “I am feeling nervous,” without evaluating whether it is good or bad. Just notice that the nervousness is present.

When mindfulness is the primary tool of meditation, the awareness that we apply to our breath (or to whatever our object–or focus–of meditation is, such as a word, image, sound, or physical sensation to which we return our attention after becoming distracted) can be expanded to include all physical and mental processes so that we may become more mindful of our thoughts and actions.

It is commonly thought that meditators hope to stop all thoughts and rest their minds in thoughtless peace. A common complaint of beginning meditators is that they cannot meditate well, because they cannot stop thoughts from arising in their minds. Actually, having thoughts is perfectly normal, and not a problem at all. In fact, it’s what’s supposed to happen! Dealing with thoughts is how mindfulness meditation works. When you notice that you are distracted by thoughts, gently bring your attention back to the object of your meditation. This is how you become able to relate differently to distractions and increase your ability to focus and concentrate.

Source: Contemplative Mind

Mindful Mondays

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of what we are doing, thinking and feeling and not become overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.  – Mindful.org

Several months ago, I assumed responsibility for leading mindfulness sessions for a small group of co-workers in my office. Mindful leadership has always been a subject of interest to me because of the positive impact great leaders can have in an organization, in their communities and in our world. I think every company has a responsibility to develop ‘good’ leaders who can also be good followers. Positive workplace experiences depend on this juxtaposition. 

Both science and experience demonstrate how being mindful brings positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships. With some guidance and training, mindfulness can develop into a way of living that brings greater focus and effectiveness as well as kindness and caring into everything we do.

Google believes that these mindfulness programs teach emotional intelligence, which helps people better understand their colleagues’ motivations. They also boost resilience to stress and improve mental focus. Participants of the “Search Inside Yourself” program report being calmer, more patient, and better able to listen. They also say the program helped them better handle stress and defuse emotions.

What distinguishes great leaders from mediocre managers? Exceptional leaders are compassionate and lead from empathy. They are authentic, focused and genuinely as interested in the growth of individuals as they are in the growth of their organization. Great leaders excel not just through skill and smarts, but by connecting and collaborating with others.

From: “Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion” (Hardcover), by Richard Boyaztis and Annie McKee