Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
The first time I became aware of mindfulness was through the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk. It was in the late nineties and I was living in the Russian River area of California. My partner and I had decided to visit a Zen Center in Sonoma County and we began meditating soon after that. Since then I’ve read about mindfulness and meditate regularly, not necessarily to reach enlightenment, although that could happen I suppose. “No gaining idea” is what the Zen people say – therefore, goal-setting with an eye towards enlightenment is strictly out of the question!
Yet, for those of us “lay” people, much accustomed to living in the world of desires and attachments, it seems we eventually become drawn to ways of being that can help us live our lives a little more mindfully, with more compassion and gentleness toward others, including our “competition”.
We’d better define mindfulness before we get too far into this: For me, mindfulness is about having more options in relating to my experiences –at work, in my personal life, and in my business/creative life.
Mindfulness also has many practical benefits and can dramatically improve one’s ability to meet business goals.
How can being more mindful improve the quality of your business and even improve your profit margin, for that matter? Since mindfulness is a skill that allows us to react less to what is happening in the moment, we become more responsive. When we respond thoughtfully, with a “sacred pause” we usually make better business decisions. For me, I’ve been able to notice when I’m catastrophizing, for example — if some aspect of my business plan isn’t going the way I want I’m able to step back momentarily and see my reactions a bit more objectively, making fewer mistakes of judgement.
Mindfulness helps us to learn how to become more gentle with ourselves.
Mindfulness is a way of relating to all kinds of experience–difficult, joyous and “ho-hum” circumstances. And our baseline suffering levels seem to decrease in proportion to the commitment to the practice of mindfulness. I’d even go so far as to say that one’s overall happiness level increases.
Mindfulness helps us to wake up and smell the roses, to stay in the present moment more often. Since most of us get stuck in default mode, in old habits that no longer serve us, most of the time we are not being mindful at all. Instead, we get caught up in distracting thoughts, perhaps thinking about whether we should buy the latest and greatest internet marketing guru’s “killer product” that will “crush the competition.”
I digress for a moment –(just staying in the present, what’s coming up for me has to be said here)–Doesn’t this war-language nonsense crack you up? I mean, really? Killer this, killer that, come on people! It seems pretty silly to me. Why not just gently move forward in the direction of your goals, staying focused on the task at hand. No need to hit anyone over the head, and there’s certainly room for some new marketing theme language out there, isn’t there? I’m a little sick of all the killer products everywhere I turn.
Anyway, you know you have great ideas, passions, hobbies and skills. Each of these interests have the potential to greatly benefit others in the form of products or services. If you know you have found a need out there, don’t waste time. Get to work on supplying the solution, the antidote! The market is hungry for what you have to offer. Your unique way, your unusual slant on the subject — only YOU can offer that, so better get busy, don’t you think?
No more “web-surfing syndrome” allowed. There are so many skills to learn, niches to research, websites to be built or updated, blog posts to write.
I am confident that you will manifest all the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to grow your business much more quickly through the practice of mindfulness.
In my 10+ years of mindfulness and meditation practice, I’ve discovered that it’s more beneficial to set aside a few minutes each day to “just sit” and let your thoughts go by, like clouds passing in the sky. It’s best not to try too much too soon as it is discouraging if you set a high bar and attempt to sit for long periods in the beginning. About 5-10 minutes once a day devoted to your mindfulness practice will work wonders for you – in your business, your relationships and in your precious life! It’s very simple, but not always easy.
Anyway, give it a try–what are you waiting for? Just a few minutes each day…let me know how it goes, okay? I’d love to read your post or you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Always Going On Beyond,