“An operational working definition of mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
Lost keys, a quickly consumed bag of chips or a conversation that gets the better of us…we all struggle to remain present to the moment at hand. In a frantic and multi-tasking world, it’s often a challenge to be mindful and focus on one thing at a time. When the phone rings – what do you do? Recently, a colleague suggested letting my phone ring one time, taking a deep breath, and then picking it up. Simple concept not easy to do but the impact of being mindful versus reactive could make a big difference.
In my coaching work with executives, I help individuals get unstuck from their “frantic doing” role and step into a more thoughtful leadership role. A leader needs enough “space” in his or her day to reflect, think, create, and lead by example.
Recently I had the privilege of coaching 30 individuals in an organization and what pleasantly surprised me was most individuals mentioned they were now focusing on how they were “showing up.” For example, one client mentioned pausing to reflect and re-focus while transitioning from one meeting to another and another mentioned taking more time to prepare and be less judgmental while delivering a difficult feedback session.
What can you do to be more mindful about how you show up in your daily life? I encourage you to give yourself the gift of space, take a moment to step back, pause, and make a deliberate decision on what you want to focus on. Whether it’s jogging, meditating, doing Yoga, journaling, or taking time out of your busy day to just sit and think, we all have our own way to make sure we have enough space in our lives to reflect so that we are more mindful about how we show up and spend our time with ourselves, our families, our friends and our co-workers.
For more information about Mindfulness: Getting Its Share of Attention – read this article from the NY Times.