I delivery many talks, workshops and classes on Mindfulness and I always start by asking what the participants’ view of Mindfulness is and invariably it varies. Mindfulness has become a buzzword as of late in the education system, corporate environment and the every day. I believe there is a perception that Mindfulness is a person sitting in solitude in a room, in a yoga-like position with eyes closed, relaxation music playing and lots of candles and incense burning. I would like to dispel this myth. Mindfulness is many things and looks different to each and every one of us because we are all so different with such different life experiences.
When we are truly aware of the here and now without worrying about the past or future; that is mindfulness. When we can quieten the noise in our mind and focus on the present; that is mindfulness. When we reach a state of calm and inner peace; that is mindfulness. Do you know that scientific evidence has proven that we have between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day? Even if you are on the low side, this is pretty crazy! Imagine the noise in our heads, the voices telling us to do this and that, the never-ending lists, the self deprecating thoughts. I wonder what the split of thoughts are between negative and positive in your head on a daily basis. We really only access such a small percentage of our mind in our conscious state. Scientists vary their calculations, but roughly 7% of our mind is actually used by us. Our subconscious runs so many programmes in the background that our conscious mind doesn’t need to be activated. Take for example driving a car on a route you are so familiar with. How many times have you asked yourself where on the route you actually are because you switched off and went on auto pilot? Who was driving the car? Imagine the responsibility we place on our subconscious giving it autonomy to drive a powerful vehicle on a certain route, changing directions frequently, passing other drivers in equally powerful vehicles with many people peppered along the route. And yet, we cannot recall part or most of our familiar journeys. The subconscious is so powerful.
I like to compare Mindfulness to rebooting a computer system. When the computer is acting up, it may be freezing on you or not saving data then all the technical IT experts and the like will always advise to turn it off and then turn it on again. This is just the same with our body system. When things are getting too much, it is so important to reboot. The system may have some programmes which it needs to install in the background before it can be turned on again and we must allow time for this. This is no different to our body systems. We need to take time-out to reprogramme our own system with good data and the updated programmes. Once the system is turned off, let it rest for a little while before turning back on. Sometimes, we all know, it may ask if you would like to start up in ‘Safe Mode’ if it is feeling a little delicate and we can choose this or chose to go back to the regular viewing system on our computer. We have to constantly look after our own wellbeing and recharge and reboot so often. Once the system is turned on again, invariably it is back in good working order. Mindfulness is like a reboot for our own systems. It is maintenance to prevent long term damage and the more it is practiced, the easier it becomes and the easier it is for us to access the programmes we need to for the wellbeing of our system.
Mindfulness looks like many different things to many people; for some it’s cycling, running, chopping wood, meditating, baking, cooking, painting, writing. It is when we are so focused on the present moment that we are in total flow. Meditation is only one format however it is the most commonly used by many in the Eastern cultures to help us focus on our breath and be very present and aware. I have run many classes in so many venues and the actual surroundings don’t matter; from board room meeting rooms, to the foot of mountains to sandy beaches to physical gyms.
Achieving Mindfulness helps us to gain a grounded perspective of life, make conscious choices and decisions, gain clarity, maintain a positive mindset and help us to grow from stressors. Many corporate environments are beginning to see the massive benefits of daily mindfulness classes available to all its people. So if you are interested to learn more about Rebooting your System through Mindfulness with talks, workshop or classes, please contact