What is mindfulness?
“I worked with Damion as one of the participants on an 8-week mindfulness programme. I found his style to be very pragmatic and at the same time insightful and inspiring. The mindfulness exercises we worked with were varied and enabled me to generate enhanced personal insight and a sense of wellbeing and resilience. I believe my mindfulness journey has begun again and I am very grateful to Damion for how he has made a difference.”
— Managing partner, professional services
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness simply means present moment awareness. When you are mindful, you know that you are fully here and experiencing your life in this moment. We could therefore call mindfulness an art of conscious living – a practice for fully waking up to this present moment.
For most of us however, this is not how we experience our lives much of the time. We are in more of a ‘mindless state’; running on automatic pilot; dulling our experience; not aware of what we are experiencing as we experience it; lost in negative thoughts about past or future events. This is when our ‘buttons’ often get pushed.
In addition, aspects of modern working life such as multitasking, instant messaging and constant connectivity result in us finding it increasing difficult to switch off and concentrate, which can have a negative impact on wellbeing, relationships and our performance at work.
Mindfulness practice helps us become aware of how we are experiencing and relating to our lives. It builds our capacity to be resilient and move from a reactive state to a more conscious way of responding.
Not only can mindfulness improve our general wellbeing, it can also speak directly to some of the biggest challenges that face us in our organisational roles and lives. Benefits such as
- an enhanced ability to be present, calm and focused
- having increased an sense of authenticity, connection, empathy and compassion
are at the core of strong personal leadership.
For me, mindfulness is practice not theory; it’s a contact sport! To really begin to understand ‘what it is to be mindful’ within your life, it is necessary to experience mindfulness and not just talk and read about it. For this reason my interventions are heavily experiential and pragmatic – the aim is to demystify mindfulness and enable you to integrate it within your life.