An article in HBR got me thinking (https://hbr.org/2019/01/mindfulness-is-demotivating).
A few years back I attended a 12 week mindfulness-based CBT course. I didn’t really want to go. I went because I wanted to deal with anxiety better and someone told me mindfulness was the answer. I was having a hard time and so being more ‘mindful’ seemed like the ‘right’ thing to do.
At the heart of the course was a focus on meditation. Being ‘in the moment’ and wafting away interrupting thoughts like ‘grey clouds hovering over a blue sky’. I sucked at it. And this made me feel inadequate. The more I tried the harder it got. The harder it got, the more I sucked. I spent two years unsuccessfully trying to meditate. And two years feeling like I was somehow inadequate for not being able to do it.
The truth is, I just don’t get on with mindful meditation. Maybe I should. But isn’t that the problem? Crippling guilt for those that just find it too hard. I think it’s about finding your space – your version of mindful meditation. As an introvert, for me it’s being with Busby, my three and a half year old son. Doing bath time, the bedtime routine and reading books. For others, it might be networking events, being in the pub with a crowd or a huge party. For some, it’s meditation. It’s all about difference.
Sometimes I feel the corporate hype around mindfulness and what mindful activities look like is peddling a counter-productive narrative around what is and isn’t ‘right’.
Maybe I’ve got this totally wrong.