In honor of Labor Day it seems a fitting theme of the Treehouse blog to bring mindfulness to work this month. Yet keep in mind readers, our focus this month is not limited to the application of mindfulness to a paying job, rather it can be applied to any role you play in daily life that requires some effort, commitment, and accountability.
The definition of mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn is paying nonjudgmental attention, with intention, to the present moment. Unfortunately when it comes to work environments and culture, many people have demands placed on them to perform in ways that are contrary to mindful attention and are set up to multi-task or have little to no control over interruptions or the pacing of the work.
With most things it is wise to start with what we have control over and make changes there, rather than focusing on aspects of the work that is out of your control. So I would like to starts this month with a challenge to readers to spend some time examining and exploring your attitudes toward yourself, the tasks, and other people you encounter as you work.
So this means bringing curiosity to ways you may be working at a task or interacting with others and how you can foster the attitudes of mindfulness, including yet not limited to the following:
Perhaps you can take one each day or one each week to focus all attention on building greater self awareness (without judgment) on your thoughts, emotions, and actions in daily life.
Let’s use NON-JUDGMENT as an example of one attitude of mindfulness you can begin with this week. Some people they are far more judgmental of self versus others and so the focus may be on your critical self talk around tasks or interactions. Can you notice any judgments arise, like “I’m so stupid, lazy, not good enough” or some flavor of these sentiments when feeling less than in comparison to others? Comparing mind is dangerous and usually sets us up to diminish ourselves or others in some way. Oh and by the way…. judging ourselves or others in a positive light is also a judgment! So noticing when the mind generates a judgment in either direction can be a moment of mindful observing and an opportunity to let go.
So what do we replace judgment with? Just the facts! So let’s just say I did not post the blog on the usual Sunday evening, my mind may have generated judgments such as, I am lazy, a slacker, a loser, etc., when in fact I was very busy this weekend enjoying time with family, friends, and taking a needed break from the usual daily grind. In fact, most of the blog was written and created, awaiting the final touches of real life mindfulness. The blog article went out 2 days late and my hope is that it will prompt you to shine the light of mindfulness this week at work and cultivate some of the attitudes that support a mindful approach to living, working, and being you!
With Love and Gratitude,
Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty
Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.