Mindfulness is undoubtedly a growing trend within businesses, with many forward-thinking companies taking advantage of its benefits. Over the course of a couple of decades, Mindfulness has traveled from the Nepal mountains and Japanese temples to corporate powerhouses, including Google, Apple, Aetna, Keurig & Target and has caught on as a way to bring awareness, focus and intention to the leadership and employees. In this lesson, we’ll begin to delve into this phenomenon.
What is Mindfulness?
In its simplest state, Mindfulness is awareness. It means having a moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, body and environment, and accepting whatever is going on in that moment. As you will see, the definition varies across cultures, nations and even from person to person, but what’s important is the ability to check in with yourself, what you are thinking or feeling, and how you act. Though seated traditionally in Buddhism, the concept of mindfulness has evolved and transformed as it becomes increasingly prevalent in the secular and business world. I believe that for every person mindfulness can be experienced differently, but at its core it is based on cultivating simple practices of awareness that over time will benefit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, the people we work with, and the institutions and organizations we are a part of.
“Wherever you are at, be there.” When I am with my children, I want to be with my children. When I am eating, I want to be completely aware that I am eating. This concept is like mono-tasking as opposed to multi-tasking.This idea is so simple, but so hard for many of us. We worry about the past, the future, our plans, projects, deadlines, etc. We set our happiness into the future after we are given a promotion, earn a degree, buy a new car, or achieve financial independence. The list is endless.
Mindfulness of our breath is the first deep practice of mindfulness and presence. Mindful breathing is our foundation, the foundation to which we can return to many times a day. As the day progresses, there will be “wake up” moments where you become mindful of either being caught up in the past, future or any other practice that keeps you from being truly present. When practiced mindfully for a few moments, the practice in the video below has the ability to bring us back to the present moment and in doing so, improve our happiness.
Like this post? Check out the episode “Taming the Monkey Mind” on Natural Tendencies for another guided breath meditation with CEO, Rick Breden.