If we could all find a quiet secluded spot like this and find time to just sit quietly every day, our lives would be enriched.
Finding time to sit, to just ‘be’ isn’t always easy. It isn’t always easy to be ‘mindful’ either.
Mindfulness has become a buzz word over the last few years. Becoming trendy and the ‘in thing’ for businesses and groups to develop.
A while back I wrote a flash fiction piece with this in mind –
How much should we accept our ‘fate’? He wondered. It’s all very well hearing that we should learn to accept and that includes any suffering, any bad times and any adverse situations at all. But that’s not so easy is it? Surely we’ve got to fight against the bad times not just give into them?
Mindfulness – that’s another thing we’re supposed to be working towards. Think of where you are ‘be’ in the present. When you are reading a memo, know you are reading a memo – think of the words, think of the person who sent it. When you are writing the reply, think with compassion; think carefully about your words. Listen to your breath, be aware.
What else did they tell us, he thought. Ah yes – breathe deeply and slowly before you get angry. I can feel myself getting angry now or at least indignant. How is all this supposed to help the workplace be more productive – I reckon it’s all American gobbledegook.
The new manager was going through the department with not just a new broom; he was clearing stuff out like a house clearance company run by an eastern guru.
Jim took a Satsuma out of his bag. The voice came back to him. ‘When you are eating savour each mouthful, feel the juice of an orange slide down your throat, chew one section slowly before you reach for the next. Think of what you are eating, savour each mouthful, don’t just gulp your food quickly before rushing off to the next meeting. Bring mindfulness to every part of your day.’
Hell! Jim thought, I can’t even eat without those guys getting into my head.
Jim buried his head in his hands. What is this?
When he went home that night, Jim’s wife noticed he seemed even more stressed out than usual.
She didn’t think it was a good idea to make the usual ‘Had a good day?’ remark. She looked at him quietly as he sat staring at the plate in front of him. ‘Take your time eating that’, she said, ‘you’ll get an ulcer if you eat too quickly.’ Jim picked it up and threw it on the floor.