Veg with Us
While you veg we’d like you to consider this question :
Q: Are you mindful or mindless?
We’ll hazard a guess that you don’t have as much time as you’d like to be mindful but you definitely don’t think you’re mindless…The work of Ellen Langer, Professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of “Mindfulness” may see you rethink that answer.
Mindless behaviour, Langer explains, is enforced in us through the teachings we experience at school, that there are absolute answers and through the policies we are expected to adhere to. They encourage us to cling to routine, set artificial limits for ourself, for fear of being wrong, of making a mistake allowing us to feel like we are in control. The irony being, she points out, that when we behave in this way we are in fact handing over control, by the very fact that we are no longer present in the moment and thus are unable to be responsive and take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves.
Mindfulness for Langer doesn’t require meditation, it is “the simple act of noticing new things”. Once we are open to both being and making ourselves actively present in the moment we start to notice new things, and it is at this point that things become interesting again. We become aware of the inherent uncertainty of life which of itself promotes more mindfulness from us. She advocates always looking for growth, in yourself and others. “Boredom, excitement, stress, these are in (y)our minds,… not in events”. She gives the example of no matter how much time we spend with our children watching them grow, we tend not to get bored. Rather we are always watching, expecting them to grow to change and we are looking for those differences. By watching and “looking for the differences, noticing what’s new we become engaged”.
Langer advocates for us to all stop our behaviour from being context-dependent and for us to focus on being the same person regardless of the context we find ourselves in. Rather than striving for the perfect work-life balance we should, she advises, be aiming for work-life integration. By doing so, she explains, the things that we do, when removed from a stressful environment, can be introduced to our work life and vice versa, the things that we do at work where we operate with more focus we can benefit from at home
We work with the whole person, through our coaching process. We take the time to get to know the “real” you, not just the “work” version of you. We want you to find that real change and challenging yourself to be more mindful, in the Langer sense of the word, is a great place to start.
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