Mindfulness isn’t just for hippies

When looking up a recipe recently, I laughed out loud at cook and food writer Rachel Kelly’s line “cue readers’ eye-rolling and thoughts ‘of course you make your own bread, you’re a Guardian reader. I bet you knit your own lentils too’…”

I laughed because I’m guilty of that stereotyping, thinking that back-to-nature efforts are just too ‘mung bean’ and ‘worthy’ for a pragmatist/realist like me to bother with. But I have to say, there is something to hippy ideas that in an ever-busier world, is starting to appeal. 

Like my derision of the ‘mung bean’ brigade, I had an equally dismissive view of mindfulness, largely because, like well-being before it, mindfulness has become a catch-all/solve-all panacea for the ills and unhappiness of the modern world.

But there is something at the core of mindfulness and the value of meditation that even non-hippies like me can benefit from.

Being present and being aware aren’t bad things. Ever.

Far too often, we rush into things on autopilot, doing what we’ve done before we get a task completed, whether or not (usually not) that delivers the best result or the highest quality. We’re too busy being busy to be aware of what we are doing or why.

I believe that if we spent a bit more time thinking and a bit less time dashing about, then we’d be happier AND more effective in our work. 

The dictionary definition of meditate is ‘to plan something in your mind; to consider doing something; synonym – contemplate.’ Planning is good. Consideration is good. Contemplation…good. So, why don’t we do more of it?

I recently wrote about the difference between busy and productive and I’m going to keep writing about it because busy-ness is damaging us, our happiness, our effectiveness and our ability to do good work.

Making the time to think, meditating on the best way to do something, contemplating options until we find the right one…that’s what we need to be doing more of.

If you’re overwhelmed by being busy and would like to feel more effective, why not get in touch for some Career Therapy and talk to me about easy steps that can take the pain out of your work life? I promise I won’t make you chant or meditate!

Email louise@careertherapy.co.uk
Header photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash
Photo by Ana Juma on Unsplash

Rachel Kelly is the author of the food blog Marmaduke Scarlet and you can follow her on Twitter

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