Mindfulness at Work:
What does it mean to live a fulfilled life? How do we not lost in getting things done, rather than being present, have meaning in the moment, while being productive?
Our society is bombarded with have another coffee, take this pill and feel better. Looking at prescription drug rates, we are getting sadder and sicker as a society. Just work harder to live the American Dream and you too, can have it all. It’s easy to be lured by these messages if you are living on a minimal salary and don’t have many things.
I’ve worked with people who have accumulated lots of shiny things. They were able to experience the pleasure of beautiful artwork, live in a space with colors and furniture that was just right for them, travel to experience the tastes and cultures around the world. Yet, it didn’t help them have the fulfillment of living their authentic self, to be filled with the life force that comes from living your true nature.
There’s an emptiness inside, despite “having it all”. Our consumeristic society pushes us to think the way to be extraordinary is to have more possessions.
My mission is to be in service to help people evolve. We can evolve into the best version of ourselves when we show up fully. Being more connected to the moment leads us to find beauty in the ordinary. It leads us to being more clear about who we are and what we stand for. It inspires us to live our values, which gives up deeper meaning and a sense of purpose. So far, this may sound more personal than business.
However, work can be a great source of expression of your authentic self. It’s likely that at least a few people could complete the tasks of your job since they have similar skills and knowledge. But bringing your whole self to work invites your unique expression of those skills and knowledge. It’s how you are present.
That presence is your vibe that either adds to suffering or inspires others to show up fully. Your vibe is like the radio station you are broadcasting. Imagine trying to work with speed metal or techno music when you prefer classical or pop. There’s a misalignment with your true nature. The more present you are to your true nature, the more you are in control of the radio dial. The more in flow you get in the workplace which effects your creativity, motivation, engagement, and productivity.
Mindfulness practices have been shown to change how your brain functions over time. The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program was originally created to help people with chronic pain. Later there were studies that showed significant improvement in symptoms of Depression and Anxiety. More recently, we’re seeing mindfulness programs show up in the workplace and make dramatic improvements on workplace performance.
Does this mean you need to set aside an hour a day? You could choose that, but a more practical start may be to just follow your breath a few times an hour, or do one thing at a time with focused attention. Multitasking is shown to cause us to make more mistakes, so consider it a practice in being more accurate. Not only will your practical performance increase, but your emotional intelligence will improve as well.
The more attuned you are, the more you will pick up on subtle guidance from within. For example, you will notice the formation of your thought. You can mindfully observe it, and take a moment to question if it is true or a perception. This leads to being less reactive and impulsive. You will also become more aware of subtle (non-verbal) messages from others. You can more quickly respond to the vibe or needs of your team members and keep things on a positive track.
Instead of trying to fill ourselves with substances, distractions and stuff for fulfillment, mindfulness connects us more deeply to the unwavering treasures within.