How to get your mindfulness moving
I've spent nine years at one of Australia's fastest moving companies. There is a saying at Cotton On, we work in dogs years, one year can feel like seven anywhere else. Talking about slowing down, pauses, contentment and mindfulness needs to be done with a delicate delivery. Slowing down can be seen as unproductive but often not possible; as the great Buddha said we need to find the middle ground. Too slow and we won't get anywhere, but racing through life means we miss the beautiful moments and relationships. I had a phone call with Michael Bunting who has written a great book " The Mindful Leader" he asked what the optimum leadership state is? Every time he has asked that question, leaders describe a mindful state; clear, clam, aware, intuitive, curious and so on. Yep who would of thought that mindfulness can mean productive?
My attention and focus has shifted into informal mindfulness or "moving mindfulness", these are practices people and leaders use as they move through the day, ways to embed a mindfulness practice into already established behaviours. It's an easier coaching moment to talk about having your morning coffee without your phone, mindfully drink with full awareness of taste, feeling and smell; to practice curiosity during a pretty mundane meeting that is met with judgement, or having a shower in the morning and experiencing the sensations of the shower, rather than worrying about the 9 am meeting.
This introduction won't make you are zen master, but it will begin to grow awareness, it's a palatable starting point for mindful behaviours that can have a big impact on your teams culture. By asking if "everybody is OK?" at the start of a meeting; care and compassion can have a huge impact on culture and the depth in which that meeting can get to. Understanding and conceptually getting mindfulness isn't enough we need to practice mindfulness; the more we understand mindfulness and our relationship to the present moment the greater choice we have in wise responses and the increase in our quality of attnetion.
Mindfulness doesn't need to be perfect but it does need to be practised