I don’t mind admitting to this, because I don’t think I’m alone but I thought mindfulness, meditation and zen were all buzzwords for a cult like culture, a waste of time, time that could be spent doing other things that actually need to be done…more on the irony of that later.
I’ll preface this by saying that I’m pretty lucky, in that I don’t suffer from any (to my knowledge anyhow) mental health issues. Outside of relatively normal levels of anxiety, stress and clutter at least. However true that is, I do feel those levels have crept up slightly over the last few years for a variety of reasons. Because of this I lack a true understanding of the suffering those people go through…a population Peter sees on a regular basis, again a pre-conception of mine that those that suffer with such issues are the only ones who can benefit.
It’s not about thinking about nothing
He described that thoughts can be like waves that are overwhelming while quoting “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf”, probably the best way to describe what mindfulness is all about.
Recognising what’s going on
So what have I done about it? Well here’s the ironic part, he mentioned that spending some time developing a practice means that it’ll in turn produce a better quality of work in the other areas of your life and that’s sort of borne fruit. I’m still not quite on board with the meditation, but I have started drawing again, something mentioned by Peter was a good avenue into mindfulness, he uses a popular method called zentangles. These zentangles bring a deliberate focus and attention to what you’re doing. You might have noticed adult colouring books topping Christmas lists this year due to the popularity, these are, I assume part of the same philosophy and represent an easy entry point into slowing down a little.
Would I therefore recommend it? Absolutely, find some form of it you can get on board with, start with a colouring book, a meditation app, do a course with someone reputable or pick up a book on the subject, and rest assured it’s not all humming with hippies.