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Mindless mindfulness

“I feel as though mindfulness is taking over my life”  I heard myself saying to a friend this week to which he responded, “that’s good, isn’t it?”

On the one hand, yes!  It is fabulous.  I am passionate about mindfulness.  I have been practicing it for 5 years, have recently qualified as a teacher of mindfulness and am half way through a Masters in the Studies of Mindfulness…..so yes, mindfulness plays a big part in my life.

On the other hand, sometimes I just feel like being mind-less!  Doing things that are familiar, that require no thought, that give an inmindfulness wordlestant sense of enjoyment, release, contentment and ease!  Eating an entire bag of mini eggs without pausing for breathe,  finishing that bottle of wine or having a good old gossip session with my best friend.

Quite frankly, being mindful all the time is exhausting!  There….I’ve said it!

Have you seen the film “Limitless”?  Bradley Cooper’s character comes across a pill which heightens his senses and turns him from a struggling writer to a famous multi-book writer almost overnight.  It is a great film, I’d recommend it.  The point is that, in my experience, mindfulness can sometimes make me feel a bit like this.

I feel alert, engaged in what I am doing, able to think and see clearly.  I am more productive and creative and I feel energised.

However, as Bradley Cooper finds out in the film, that alertness can become exhausting.  Human beings are not designed to be in that mode all the time and sometimes it is good to switch back into autopilot and just let the software in our mind do its thing.

This is good advice for me to remember as I return to writing a proposal for a piece of research I am doing on mindfulness and leadership, to setting up Mindfulness Based Living Courses that I will be running in a couple of months time, designing a Mindfulness and Coaching programme for a client and to my own daily practice.

Mindfulness is, and always will be a big part of my life and the alertness, clarity and awareness I experience gives me the edge I need in my work and all the other things I do in my life.  However, there is a very good reason why our brain sets up shortcuts which mean we can be doing something without even knowing we’re doing it….we all need a break and sometimes being mindless is just what we need to do!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments or your experience of being mindless so feel free to comment below, or get in touch.  Or if you feel you do mindless really well and need a bit more mindfulness check out the courses I’m going to be running in Glasgow this year.


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