Mindfulness this, mindfulness that. News headlines are abuzz with this buzz word, talking about which mindfulness coach helped the team win or met with the world leaders. So, let’s talk about mindfulness.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be some change in lifestyle. You don’t have to meditate, or join a commune. You don’t have to suddenly become Zen, and eat Organic.
Mindfulness is, at its core, simply being more aware of the moment, and your reactions. You can mindfully eat the donut – be aware of the smell and the taste – know that this is not on your diet but it tastes good – be conscious of the need for emotional soothing via food.
In traffic, you don’t have to love everyone, or be free of anger. But being mindful means having full awareness that traffic is moving slowly – noticing that the same blue car keeps advancing past you – recognizing the emotions of frustration, anger, malaise washing over you.
Rather, most people mindlessly eat the donut (and shame themselves later), or yell in traffic (and try to cope by fantasizing about far off places). Such mindless behavior begets patterns, unseen patterns, which then are repeated ad infinitum and result in a less healthy, less happy you.
But again, mindfulness does not mean you are a donut free, cool cucumber of a person. It means you know your default reaction to traffic is anger, and your default behavior around donuts is to nom-nom. Now you can make better choices, with full awareness.
Knowing is half the battle!