Yes that’s right, I meant to put a picture of a Jack Russell as the start of this post. Because that is what my brain is like - apparently, too much like a Jack Russell, prone to dart from one thought to another. Unable to stay focused on one thing at a time.
- Why do one job - when you can do 3.
- Why think about one event, we can you think about 3 of them at the same time.
- Why worry about 1 child, when you can worry about all of them.
Working in the digital space, I think made this much much worse as well.
- Why follow one social media channel - when 5 will be so much better?
- Why delegate, when you can do it all better anyway?
- Why reduce your client load, when you, wonderwoman can handle it all?
I was one of those women who prided myself on my ability to multitask. To keep multiple jobs, targets, people and relationships successfully on the go and just jump from one to many items all the time. Everyday, 25 hours a day….
Get the picture?
Suffice to say - there was not a lot of the ZEN going on in my head.
The actual concept of mindfulness then, of choosing to purposely be present to what is happening around me right now and how that might benefit me was one that passed me by.
I thought I had always been able to sustain multiple tasks, but at what cost to me and those closest to me, and really was I doing any of it well anyway?
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
- a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So let’s just focus on the second one.
Why does being mindful to what we have going on around us so crucial to our potential to find the good, to find happiness?
MIndfulness allows us to just take stock, acknowledge what is actually happening, and just let it happen.
One of the worse things about depression for me, was the constant negativity whirring away in my head. Not from anything that was necessarily happening in that moment - but the obsessing on things that had happened in the past or that may happen in the future. My focus and attention was everywhere except the here and now. I have described how it was in my head as just like being a hamster on a wheel, just running round and round endlessly going nowhere and achieving nothing and only seeing the BAD.
I was kidding myself that I was handling multiple activities well. In fact as my depression worsened, the whirr in my head got faster and my multi tasking efforts became a bit manic at times. This effected my relationship with my husband and kids, but it also manifested itself at work, to my poor suffering team and clients.This foolish cultivation of multi-tasking, ultimately lead to desctructive outcomes in both my personal and professional life.
Try a little test with me.
Can you sit still, and just focus on your breathing for about half a minute? Just clear your mind of all thoughts and focus on just one thing - listening to your breath. You might find it easier to do this with your eyes closed, I know I do.
It’s not as easy as you might think!
Being mindful of the actual present, being aware of what is happening right now, allows us to accept and act on what is actually happening. It gives us an opportunity to find the good around us. It actually allows us to see that there IS good around us, and that it has been there all along.
It allows to see our environment as it really is - not how we might perceive it to be.
Saying that we will practice mindfulness in our everyday life is one thing, but living it is another. I have been using a few tools recently to help train my brain to focus on the NOW and not the WAS or the COULD BE.
If you are interested, why not try
I am currently working my way through both of these to help me settle the mind. These are fun little apps, that can help you bring mindfulness habits into your everyday life.
You can train your brain to change - I would love to hear your successes or struggles in this area.
Say goodbye to the Jack Russell in your head - he is stopping you from enjoying a fulfilled and happy life.
Go get your ZEN on…ohmmm