In my former blog I started my search for my personal definition of mindfulness. Today I will try to explore this a bit further.
Part of my personal mindfulness definition I came up with so far is: being aware of autopilot behavior and practicing non-reactivity until I’ve identified my best possible reaction based on my core values!
This week I caught myself AFTER acting out some auto pilot behavior. My 5 year old son was going to have some kind of closing ceremony on Friday. Parents were invited to come at 11 am and bring a snack for a picnic.
Always when one of my children comes back with a message like that I kind of panic: but I have a client at 11 am on Friday! Or: I’m too busy with other things to just interrupt my workday to go to a school picnic. Or: Oh my! What kind of snack do I have to bring this time?
And so when I saw his teacher the next morning I talked to her with an (as I later realized…) irritated intention. “So we have to come at 11? And bring a snack? Well, I really need to see if I can free up some time for that…”
Immediately after, I realized how I had just talked to her and with which intention: to make her feel guilty that she ‘forced’ me to interrupt my busy day and come to school, with a snack that I also had to prepare on top of everything else that I already had to do…!
When I talk about mindfulness and working on being a mindful person, an example like this is very important to me. In order to be a mindful person who’s present in the here and now, accepting and non-judgmental, I have to become aware not only of my auto pilot behavior but also about my unconscious intentions behind what I’m saying or doing and, most importantly…to correct this behavior!
So I ended up baking nice cookies for the picnic and went to the teacher apologizing for what I said. She hadn’t even noticed or interpreted it as negative, but that doesn’t matter!
The picnic was a lovely event and yet another important reminder: those things we see as interruptions or distractions from what we should be doing are very often the things that really count and make our lives worthwhile. So let’s start enjoying them!