What is Mindfulness about? Mindfulness is basically experiential – literally putting your feet up and being present to experience. Formal mindfulness practice e.g. bodily aware movement, sitting quietly, breathing space, mindfulness meditation – these are some. More common I would say they’re about becoming present in the moment.
The question you might ask yourself is what is mindfulness about when you’re not experiencing any stresses or emotional pains? Or perhaps what is mindfulness about when your environment around you seems perfectly calm, beautiful and serene? These can all be a clue to a more deeper truth about ourselves and our relationships with the world. Perhaps one of the most profound questions we all have is what is mindfulness about when there is no stress? What is mindfulness about when we are surrounded by chaos, anger, fear, violence or chaos itself? These are perfect candidates for mindfulness practice.
One very powerful tool, if you are looking for what is mindfulness about when you have nothing to do with what is happening now, is Kabat-Zinn’s model of mindfulness. In his book, Breathing Life Organizer, he advocates paying attention in a particular way, which he calls Mere Awareness. For example, he recommends practicing “Mere Awareness” each time you get up in the morning. Paying attention to where you are right now is not reacting to what is happening or thinking about something. What is mindful is observing your body and its sensations without judgment or concern for what is happening.
This same principle is true with other things you can practice mindfulness about, whether it’s while driving, walking the dog, cooking dinner or sitting in traffic. You don’t need to meditate. But simply being aware of your body and what is going on is mindfulness, or mindfulness on purpose, in any situation. Thus, the mind-body connection in Paying Attention in a given way is what is mindfulness about.
Now let’s consider what is mindfulness about as regards the specific role of meditation. Mindfulness about meditation can be applied in everyday life too, whether it’s looking at an organizational situation, your thoughts and feelings before they arise, appreciating the things that come into being or dealing with a challenging situation. Mindfulness on purpose is very valuable. It helps you avoid negative states and recognise the opportunities that arise. So what is mindfulness about as regards an organisational role, then? Here are some thoughts that might help.
Mindfulness about an organisation can be understood in terms of four factors: Being mindful in the moment, being mindful about what is happening, being mindful about the impact of any activity on other people, and being mindful about time and energy. Being mindful in the moment means being aware of what is happening in the moment, in the context of whatever it is that you’re doing. Being mindful about what is happening means being able to check your emotion and reactions to what’s happening – rather than trying to control or influence them. Being mindful about the impact of any activity on other people involves observing how it affects them, rather than trying to influence or control them. And lastly, being mindful about time and energy means that you don’t try to use up too much of your resources in any activity, and also avoiding the kind of over-use of resources that usually end up creating more problems.
So what is mindfulness about? By observing these aspects of your being, you can become aware of your emotional states and how they affect you. This way you can become aware of what is causing your stress, which in turn can help you change your behavior towards stress (which will also alter your response to stress). This in turn can help you reduce your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and improve your ability to manage stress.
Being mindful means being aware of what is around you and how it affects your emotions, feelings and behaviors. Paying attention to these aspects of your life means that you become more aware of what your reactions are towards any given situation and other people, and also how any particular activity affects the environment around you and your emotions in particular. This has a positive effect on your health, as well as improving your quality of life and your relationships.