This weekend I got into an interesting conversation on ‘Mindfulness’. I’d heard of this practice before, noticed it popping up in various conversations and across different channels – I was vaguely aware it was one of those new fads, like Pilates and yoga had been, born from Buddhism.
From the little I had read, I wasn’t a huge fan of it: Mindfulness, the practice of meditation, of taking the opportunity to appreciate the moment you are in, of the positive things around you and to let go of the negative or the self-critical. So why wasn’t I impressed? My general feeling had been that mindfulness led to complacency; if people meditated to help them relieve stress, then great. But if people were becoming less worried about the negative things around them, did that mean they were also less likely to stand up for the things they believed in, to fight for a better world? Would we all just give up and become apathetic toward some of life’s biggest issues?
I’m happy to say my opinion was changed. On learning more about the practice, I discovered it could do wonders for stress levels, for health and even for spending habits (with weekly meditation, you begin to let go of feelings of wanting and focus instead on what you have)! And I began to question whether I had actually put too much faith into people who didn’t practice mindfulness – not everyone was out there fighting for causes, mindful or not. In which case, surely a positive appreciation for life could do us all some good?
If we could all learn to be a little more positive, to let go of negative thoughts and to appreciate the good in our lives then surely that leads to better workplaces, homes and communities?
I can’t help thinking this could be an exciting new DoAction – ok, so we can’t measure it in carbon but the health, financial and community benefits are potentially huge. With our crowdfunding campaign ticking along nicely, the funding will enable us to add these measurements to our site (with the help of the lovely people over at ERM) and really heighten our impact. I’m pretty excited about the variety of actions we’ll soon have and mindfulness is just one of them!
Are there any new actions you’d like to see?