What my daily office life looked like when I was working in corporations? I remember it very well. I remember the struggles I was making to attend all those meetings and calls that were double-booked and triple-booked on my calendar. In fact with a little shame for me now I recall those moments when I was participating in a conference call, having someone in my office on a face to face meeting, and answering a call that I just received on my mobile… all at the same time…

Some of you will say: “this is life, this is reality”. Yes, but this is the reality we create. This is the business culture we create.

Anyway, whatever the reality is and even if you don’t want to try to change it or maybe you think you are not able to change it, you are still able to help yourself to survive in this reality as a healthy and balanced person. And that’s the topic of this post.

And the remedy is…practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, with qualities like compassion, curiosity and acceptance. Through being mindful, you discover how to live in the present moment in an enjoyable way rather than worrying about the past or being concerned about the future. The past has gone and cannot be changed. The future will only come and is unknown. But most of us have a tendency to be preoccupied with either one or the other and we forget that the present moment, this very moment now is the only moment we have.

As a passionate practitioner of mindfulness and hopefully soon a certified teacher of it, I would recommend it to you especially if:
– You know you get lost in your thoughts – it may be that most of the day, as you go about your daily activities, your mind is left to think whatever it wants, you’re operating on automatic pilot mode, but some of your automatic thoughts may be unsupportive to you, or perhaps you’re so stuck in those thoughts, you don’t actually experience the world around you?
– You think you’re experiencing a high level of stress, if so and especially if this is happening over a long period of time, the stress is reducing the strength of your immune system, perhaps it happens quite often to you that you catch a cold, get flu, have sensitive stomach?
– You feel burnt out, you wonder where your energy has gone, through all your life so far you have been chasing success after success, result after result, project after project, you were producing the results, projects and successes and it used to make you happy, but now when you ask yourself “what’s next which I’d like to do?”, you feel like nothing…

Mindfulness means meditation through which you practice directing your attention and you may learn it on life or virtual courses, but the best is when being mindfully present becomes your daily routine. This is not complicated and you can do this without adding any more demands on your already too packed schedule. You may call these routines “ Moments of Focus” It means it is not about stopping to be mindful – you don’t have to stop doing what you do to be fully present in this moment. You only need to notice what is here to be noticed when you focus your attention on it. So it is about redirecting the attention when it flies away into the future or the past.

  1. Choose to start your day rather than letting the day start you — before jumping out of bed listen to the sounds of the birds through the window of your bedroom, or to a piece of music on your CD player, take a few deep breaths and really feel them, then have your morning shower or bath tuning into your sense of smell, sight and touch fully, see how it affects you and how much better it is than just worrying about your day which only begins.
  2. Someone irritated you, your boss? Sit down and try a short breathing-space meditation. Find a place in your office where you can sit for 3 minutes with your eyes closed or softly gazing at something, your spine should be relaxed and upright, begin with feeling you breath, you may say to yourself “in” when you breathe in, and “out” when you breath out, when your mind wanders simply guide your attention gently and kindly back to your breathing.
  3. Mindful pops-up in your office – identify some of the things which happen regularly while you are at work and make them be a kind of reminders that pop up to help you remember to be mindful. Every Monday at 10am you have a meeting with your boss? Ok, you’re just on the way to her office, notice your breath and posture, when you walk the door and say ‘hello’, notice the tone of your own voice and the other person, if you want you may smile as you speak and listen and don’t forget to be aware of the effect it has.
  4. Meditating while driving? Why not? — choose some days to drive to and from work without the radio or phone. Instead let your awareness be wide and open, be aware of what other vehicles and people are doing around you, break gradually and accelerate slowly, red traffic light or worse… a horrible traffic jam? – what a great opportunity to practice concentrating on your breathing! In and out…

Mindfulness meditation is not thinking about nothing but paying attention to whatever you decide to focus on. It is also about having a choice – it helps you to respond, instead of simply react to events. That is the reason why it is so powerful energy builder!

If you are interested in details about how you can work on your development on the base of mindfulness, please contact me on: monika@monikaschwertner.com

All the best for you!