Mindfulness in this digital age of emails, instance messaging, and social media alerts is challenging to say the least. Distractions are everywhere. Not only external distractions but also the internal distractions found in our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Rather than seeing the negative quality of the distraction and trying to avoid being distracted, can we reframe the distraction as a mindfulness messenger? Rather than getting so absorbed in the distraction that we miss the content, can we be present in the midst of the distraction, discovering how to navigate and learn from the distractions in daily life rather than trying to eliminate the them?
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go There You Are, mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. This is a simple concept whose power lies in practice and application. Mindfulness creates the space for awareness, but mindfulness alone is not enough. The Conscious Leader practices mindfulness with intention and responsible action. We will explore these practices in future blog posts.
Mindfulness is a state of being aware of ourselves, other people, and our environment. We can remind ourselves to be mindful with a regular morning meditation practice or moments of mindfulness during the day or at the beginning of meetings, but conscious leaders aspire to live their whole lives mindfully. Mindful leadership is no longer simply desirable, it is an imperative: practice mindfulness or get left behind.
Living mindfully is the third of the ten practices for leading consciously within the theme of Noticing What is Going On in The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership. This practice is about being in the moment; it is about being as well as doing, about how we show up in the world, our character and presence, and leading from the inside out. It is about avoiding the drama triangle, practicing mindfulness, and living mindfully every day. Living consciously is mindfulness with intention and responsible action.