Monday, October 8, 2018

Timely reminder

"Mindfulness is simple but not easy." (John Kabot-Zin)

One Harvard study showed we spend almost half our waking hours with a wandering mind, and that wandering mind is not a happy one.

The importance of a mindfulness practice was reinforced for me recently at a workplace presentation, part of a speaker series on mental health and wellness. How fortunate I am that my employer recognizes the importance of this topic and is promoting it in the workplace!

The speaker was from the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, where I took the eight-week course just last year. During the short presentation we had the opportunity to sample some of the exercises: body scan, breathing, awareness, STOP. A useful review.

Dr. Goldstein: STOP stands for Stop, Take a breath, Observe your experience (Body, Emotions, and Thoughts) and then Proceed by asking yourself what's most important to pay attention to. Choose to respond, not to react.

Also mentioned in passing was to keep a 'to be' list as well as a 'to do' list. I love the concept! To me it means not just to accomplish the tasks of daily living, but to set aside time just to be. To sit and notice life and what's going on in and around.

As a teen there was a t.v. show called 'Party Game', essentially celebrities playing charades. One of the sayings really stuck with me: "'To do is to be,' Socrates. 'To be is to do,' John Paul Sartre. 'Do be do be do,' Frank Sinatra." Now when I google this I see it is attributed to Kurt Vonnegut. I always thought this was a clever and simple take on philosophies of living, and the more I revisit, the more it resonates.

post script
Came across this just a day after publishing this post:
The German philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote that authentic living requires both keeping life and death in mind at all times... He called it "dasein," literally, human be-ing. (from Overwhelmed, by Brigid Schulte)

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