Finding Meaning in Mindfulness

Although lockdown has eased, we’re still traversing a landscape with constantly changing ‘rules’ and constraints. It’s easy to get caught up in “what ifs” instead of focusing on “what is”.

 

Mindfulness is one of the most effective and powerful skills we can develop during this time of transition and unpredictability.

 

It can save our lives, and I don’t mean that lightly. It can also help us to build stronger life and work practices. Being mindful and intentional in our approach are central to building cadence and meaning into our lives too.

“A mind that is stretched by new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Mindfulness is commonly known for reducing stress and anxiety, and improving our empathy and compassion. But there are other benefits too. Regular mindfulness practices also strengthen the part of our brain responsible for learning and memory, and can help to heal our brain.

 

As we adjust to new parameters, we need to be open to stretching our minds and learning new ways of being.

Cadence 19 Web Cover 9

Meditating on Mindfulness

Mindful meditation is a good grounding practice to keep us centred and happy, especially helpful amidst the turbulence of our times.

 

Dr Rick Hanson, a seasoned meditation research scientist posits 7 ways we can become more in tune with what brings us happiness. I enjoyed this fascinating podcast interview with Dan Harris, where they talk about the brain science of enlightenment, (a state brought about by regular meditation).

 

Rick’s lovely soothing voice, and relaxed way of explaining these points, had me buying an audio version of his new book before I’d even finished listening to the podcast!

Giving Way to Acceptance

Rich Roll is a well-known vegan endurance athlete, writer and podcaster. He recently spoke about his own difficulties with adjusting to the longer term impacts of isolation and uncertainty.

 

The “sine wave” of mixed emotions and experiences he describes is wholly relatable, but it was this last paragraph which caught my eye most…

 

“The hardest part {of this moment in time} is being totally present with our shared reality.

And that of course is the lesson.

Because suffering is nothing more than resistance to what is.”

Rich Roll on Instagram

 

Again … we need to learn how to sit with, live with and work with “what is”.

 

Even if it’s not what we hoped it would be.

Cadence 19 Web Cover 11

Mindfulness turns Work into Play

“This is the real secret to life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play.”

Alan Watts

I’ve been a fan of Hugh Jackman for a long time and it’s about more than just his muscles, lol! In every interview I’ve seen or read, he always comes across with a strength of character that is sometimes lacking when you get to see the real person behind the movie character.

 

I found his recent interview with Tim Ferriss delightful. Hugh Jackman is a prime example of someone who has committed time during their life, to practice what it means to be a good human.

 

Despite his celebrity, he is well connected with his fallibility and limitations. He works consistently to bring out the best in himself and those around him. And he is as gracious, genuine and down-to-earth as they come. He turns the work into play.

 

Hugh also shares some helpful, easy ways to stay focused, mindful and strong.  Give this a listen if you want to hone your skills in the Art of Living.

Cadence 19 Web Cover 8

Being Mindful about Meaningful Conversations

Apart from a pandemic, the last few months of protests have also led to a heightened (and necessary) awareness of the work we still need to do around addressing inequality, marginalisation and discrimination.

 

Many of us are having to learn new, more mindful ways of communicating, that are sensitive to these factors.

 

There’s a lot of information and resources coming to light, which is good, but can feel intimidating. It can be uncomfortable and hard to know where to start. But as we keep practising making these changes ourselves, we initiate and influence systemic change. And just like learning to meditate, it gets easier over time.

 

If you’re wanting to learn how to engage better, I found this Net Impact article about how to have meaningful conversations around race very helpful.

Mastering meaningful mindfulness means we become the masters of ourselves and our lives, irrespective of the mayhem around us.

 

And when we can lead ourselves, we can lead others.

 

I’ll leave you with this quote by Bill Fox:

``It’s my belief that anyone can be a leader at any level, at any time, and start to bring about change wherever they are. This has been my journey, and one that I know that any person who wants to make a difference can take, to impact their circumstances.”

Bill Fox

Want to read more like this? Are you subscribed?

 

Find out more about the Cadence Monthly Guide, read sample editions and sign up  to receive email notifications when the next edition goes live.