“When we understand how precious each moment is, we can treat each breath, each moment, as a newborn baby.” – Michelle McDonald
Daily Nugget of Gold 1257
We’ve spoken on this subject before, but we are about to take a closer look. Let’s look for a handy definition first- we like this one: Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. We were going to go ahead and just tell you what we thought it was, but the web is a pretty handy tool sometimes. We’re still going to give our readers our own take on this, which might not be as poetic as the sentence we derived from the internet, but perhaps more useful in understanding what this is and how it works.
Our take: People who are engaged in mindfulness attempt to use their conscious mind to do what it is that they are doing, and not resort to using the subconscious, or automatic part of their mind’s function. This might not sound all that difficult or all that remarkable to pull off. Ha! Just wait and see. Our subconscious mind was designed to run us through any familiar task without having to concentrate on it. Since it was designed to do this, it slips into gear effortlessly and smoothly once we’re familiarized with whatever it is we are doing.
Take a laborer in a sewing factory, for example. Once they’ve thoroughly learned what to do, they whiz along at incredible speeds with a machine capable of sewing their hands to the material they are working with, should they mess up. Yet, accidents are few and far between. What do they do while they work? Hold conversations with co-workers sometimes, other times they are thinking about what they might be having for dinner that night, or how Suzy needs braces…in other words, this is the exact opposite of mindfulness. Yes, it was a mindfulness task while they were learning how to do it, but it soon slipped into subconscious automation and their conscious mind was then freed up for other things.
When you walked over to the computer, what did you think about? Okay, you may have “intentionally” walked to the computer, alright. How about exactly where to put each foot on the way, and the balance you needed to remain standing as you walked? Where you absorbed in the arrangement, color, and temperature of the room? Did you notice any aches and pains or the feeling of the fabric of your clothes against your skin as you approached? (We hope you had clothes on!) Were you consciously thinking about your breathing as you did so? We’re not trying to be ridiculous here, but rather it’s just our goal to illustrate just how much of our day is run on “automatic”– FAR MORE than most anyone thinks. Far more than most people would ever admit to. We’ll go deeper still, next time. Join us, won’t you?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“If I have surgery, would I want the doctor to be consciously aware of everything they are doing?”
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.