Coach’s Challenge for August 16, 2004

Good morning Team,

The coaches challenge of the week is to practice mindfulness. When we are mindful, we pay attention to the details. When we focus on the details of our mundane lives, we open ourselves to discovery. We begin to get the most out of every minute because we are looking at things with fresh eyes. Mindfulness is inward; it is being attentive to the twinge in your stomach when you’re hungry. Mindfulness is also outward: it connects you to others by allowing you to be present to them. When we are mindful, we are aware, engaged, and nonjudgmental, a state which encourages synchronicity.

In her definitive book, Mindfulness, Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer speaks of being flexible and responsive to changes, of operating from what is really in front of you, of building options for yourself – new ways to see, be, listen, learn. Instead of being stuck in the old categories of thinking, you create new categories to better reflect the current situation and context. You find alternatives to the usual way of doing things. You seek new ways and risk the loss of comfortable old ones.

We often find the biggest challenge to mindfulness is remembering to do it. We get so caught up in our thoughts that we forget to be present in the moment. Try coming back to the moment throughout the day and mindfulness will naturally emerge.

Have a great week!

Kathleen

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