Where do we go from here?
How Mindfulness actually moves your LifeUp…
When my co-founder of LifeUp emailed me, with the title “Where do we go from here?” I was a bit taken aback. The gist of the email was that whilst he’d been doing the brunt of the heavy lifting for our launch, I had taken my foot off the pedal and not been pulling my weight. Could we really build a successful business without both being fully committed, he asked.
I first opened the email on my mobile from my bed, when I had been about to go to sleep. Not very mindful in the first place! But then there was a physical trigger - a tightness in my throat. I felt attacked, a bit of a failure, and thoughts started to cycle through my mind. How should I respond? How should I defend myself?
I had ‘personalised’ the mail, and was in an “outside→in” mode of thinking. It felt as though external circumstances were dictating my thoughts and feelings, and impacting my mental and physical wellbeing, even though I was tucked safely in bed. Go figure?
But what if I had it the wrong way round? Mindfulness teaches us to view the world from an “inside→out” perspective. If we can cultivate a peaceful mind, accepting thoughts and feelings (both negative and positive), then we can operate from a place of calm. Being centred means we are better equipped to deal with external circumstances, whatever they may be. We can calmly and rationally respond, with perspective and clarity, avoiding any emotional knee-jerk reactions.
I was able to separate my thoughts about the situation, from the reality of the situation. I observed the tension in my body, and watched my breath. I set aside my iPhone and went straight to sleep, unphased by the email, resolving to respond calmly in the morning. The next day, I was able to see that the email was well-intentioned, justified and not a personal attack. My business partner was trying to move things forward and raise an issue, and was just seeking my commitment to the cause. There was no need to personalise it. From there, we were able to agree some next steps and revisit our roles and responsibilities. What could have a been a deal-breaker moment, became an opportunity to regroup and refocus, as we move to the next stage of our LifeUp mindfulness offering.
Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword of late. It’s spread from Google to the Houses of Parliament, and from schools to workplaces. It remains to be seen if mindfulness will truly mainstream, or pass by as ‘just another fad’ except for the committed minority. But for me — and the people in my life — it is a tangible route to more open and fulfilling relationships.
You can see more mindfulness tips, and sign up for our free 21 day ‘From Survive to Thrive’ challenge at www.lifeup.be
Great TED talk by Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work?language=en