We can learn a lot from the way Sherlock Holmes trains his mind.
Important points in this NY Times article. Mindfulness is more than yoga or meditation. It is about pausing, even for five minutes, to think, center, and be present in what has happened and what is ahead. It changes our brain patterns and, maybe more importantly, delivers a refreshed perspective.
It is time to take a "Holmes" moment and think.....
The story of the Christmas Truce during the first year of World War I delivers a vital challenge for us. Read more about the story, but it is one of grasping the moment and doing something extraordinary during it.
"While the Christmas truce is a short story of peace, it brings hope and challenge. The hope is, even in the muddy trenches of raging battles, peace can bloom. The challenge is, simply, how can we string together moments of peace?
For me, this is the ultimate tale of the Christmas truce. It is about creating the moments of peace, centered on values of a season and of humanity. It is about determining how to sustain those moments into a longer stretches of time, turning minutes into momentum within a society working together to achieve a higher purpose. This needs to be our story. This needs to be our resolved challenge."
People buy iPhones to be universally connected and have a ton of cool functions and features at their fingertips. But as the wise monk Rev. Heng Sure once said, everything we create in silicon already exists in carbon.
From 5 different perspectives - connectivity, social networking, features & functionality, environment, and cost - meditation wins. Read more to find out how and join the conversation.
"Your goals will be much more powerful if you back yourself up one step and connect with your deepest intentions. Here's a guide to doing a reflection and intention process that will launch you into the new year with awareness and inspiration!"
"Then allow yourself lots of time to reflect and write on the following questions:
1) What am I celebrating? What am I grateful for? What has been wonderful and magical about this past year?
2) What is one aspect about myself that I have especially loved this year? What am I proud of?
Where do you focus your impatience? Is it focused on your important things in life? Our life needs the right balance to keep our pace and stride focused.
Dividing our patience and impatience between unimportant and important life and leadership activities delivers a better view for us to absorb.
Routine – There are unimportant activities we need to do. In terms of life direction, they are the functional things we need to do, and we do them with a patient everyday mindset.
Release – These are the frustration points that unexpectedly land in our path. We need to take a more mindful approach to resolved them, breathing in and letting the impatience flow from our thoughts and actions. We cannot let them trip us up and get us off track.
Pace – For some of our important activities, we get riled up. We need to remember to put one foot in front of another. It is about movement, not just motion. It is about consistency of work and effort to achieve our goals and purpose. Scurrying around tires us out; consistent action delivers better results.
Stride – Life is a balance. We cannot become too patient in achieving our life purpose, as life may just pass us by. For the important things in our life, we need to gain and maintain our stride.
"Think a bit outside of the box and consider the type of corporate culture that can consistently create and support world-class customer experiences. Try to imagine a mindful approach to customer experience. We're serious."Mindful" is not a word..."
1) Avoid blinders
2) Focus on now
3) Be accurate
4) Be tolerant
5) Minimize suffering
6) Communicate openly and truthfully
Read the article in Fast Company for more details on the 6 steps.
"The dreaded Krispy Kreme... (Photo credit: Wikipedia) What is it about self-control that makes it so difficult to rely on? Self-control is a skill we all possess (honest); yet we tend to give ourselves little credit for it."
"With this success/failure dichotomy in mind, I give you six strategies for self-control that come straight from new research conducted at Florida State University. Some are obvious, others counter intuitive, but all will help you eliminate those pesky failures and ensure your efforts to boost your willpower are successful enough to keep you headed in the right direction for achieving your goals."
"Ready to practice some Mindfulness in your own life? Here are three ways to get started:
1. Consider an important goal, task, or situation you currently have on your priority list.
3. Notice the physical sensation in your body that occurs just by thinking about it. Does your stomach turn, your jaw clench, your chest tighten, your forehead frown? Do you break into a smile, have butterflies in your stomach, or feel your pulse race? Your body notices how you feel before you do!
3. Now notice the emotion attached to the physical feeling. Is it positive or negative? That’s judgment. An emotion is your opinion of the physical sensation you are experiencing. What if you were to let go of it and simply notice? This would present you with a myriad of more choices than the one that so automatically came to your awareness...."
"Regardless of the daily introspective practice you choose, the pursuit of mindful leadership will help you achieve clarity about what is important to you and a deeper understanding of the world around you. Mindfulness will help you clear away the trivia and needless worries about unimportant things, nurture passion for your work and compassion for others, and develop the ability to empower the people in your organization."
Matthew May is the author of three award-winning books: The Elegant Solution, In Pursuit of Elegance, and The Shibumi Strategy. His latest book is called The Laws of Subtraction: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything.
"Mindful coaches perfect a form of conscious and comfortable simultaneous attention to themselves, their coachee, the relationship between them, and the mental, emotional, and relational dynamics occurring in the moment. There are three aspects of mindfulness that have particular pertinence to leadership coaching:
1) an empty mind
3) permissive attention"
Read the article to gain insights on the three keys to mindful leadership coaching.
"Mindfulness in Schools: An Interview with Room To Breathe.
Q1: How would you describe Room to Breathe to someone that hasn’t seen it?
A1: In the film, a Mindful Schools educator spends several months at San Francisco’s Marina Middle School, teaching mindfulness to a group of seventh grade students, many with incredible challenges. Confronted by defiance during her initial sessions with them, the students ultimately begin to learn the technique and use it to take greater control over their lives.
Q2: What goals were in mind when making this film?
A2: The film’s goal is to convey the critical need to teach inward reflection in schools throughout the nation—specifically, teaching kids how to focus, manage their emotions and stress, as well as more skillfully resolve conflict."
Feeling thankful is one key to happiness, so count your blessings for a boost.
"Gratitude needn't be directed at another person to hit its mark. Take just a few minutes each day to jot down things that make you thankful, from the generosity of friends to the food on your table or the right to vote. After a few weeks, people who follow this routine 'feel better about themselves, have more energy and feel more alert,' Emmons says. Feeling thankful even brings physical changes, studies show. List-keepers sleep better, exercise more and gain a general contentment that may counteract stress and contribute to overall health."
Here are some of the benefits of staying in the room:
There are a lot of reasons that aficionados call yoga a practice. One of the biggest is that it can be practice for the rest of your life. Staying in the room is an example of that. Whether it’s a 96 degree yoga classroom, a conference room where you’re hashing it out or a job that just got a lot harder, your life as a leader will regularly present choice points on whether or not you stay in the room.
Here are some of the benefits of staying in the room:
The South Africans have a beautiful philosophy called Ubuntu, which translates as "I am what I am because of who we all are." This is a perfect way to think about the way a brain develops, influenced by its surrounding people and experiences.
"...If you want to transform an organization it's not about changing systems and processes so much as it's about changing the hearts and minds of people," says Weiss. "Mindfulness is one of the all-time most brilliant technologies for helping to alleviate human suffering and for bringing out our extraordinary potential as human beings.
Pierce and Weiss distilled a set of principles that form the basis of what became the "Personal Excellence Program" (PEP), now heading into its sixth year inside Genentech (Pierce left the company this fall after 11 years to join salesforce.com). Together, these pillars offer up a short course in unleashing human capability, resilience, compassion, and well-being..."
"General Mills, the company behind Cheerios cereal and Häagen-Dazs ice cream, is headquartered on a leafy expanse outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. Enclosed walkways connect a network of modernist buildings, protecting Midwestern workers from heat and humidity in the summer, and bitter cold and towering snowdrifts in the winter. Inside the halls, some 3,000 people work on everything from product development and marketing to litigation, regulation and mergers and acquisitions. The employee base is generally reflective of middle America – predominantly white, casually dressed and possessing a genial, if hard-working, disposition.
Yet there are signs that in some significant ways, General Mills has a distinctly unusual corporate culture. Open the right door on a Tuesday morning and you might find a few dozen team leaders and executives meditating silently together on cushions, steeling their minds for the work week ahead. Enter a conference room later that afternoon and witness more than 50 senior employees from across the organisation standing on one leg in the tree pose as they practise yoga. Note that in every building on the General Mills campus there is a meditation room, equipped with a few zafus – or cushions for sitting practice – and yoga mats where, day after day, employees duck in to grab a few minutes of equanimity in between their meetings. These are the most obvious signs that, as an organisation, General Mills has something resembling a collective spiritual life."
Many of us are caught up in habits and rigid ways of doing things. The sculptures are a reminder that balance is found by being in tune with each moment as it arises. Balance requires openness to what is before us. What worked yesterday will not necessarily work today or in the future. What works for one child will not necessarily work for another. The way a task is completed at work is not a guarantee that the same principles can be applied to the next project at hand.
How Mindfulness Can Help You Reach a Goal. by mindfulhub on September 27, 2012. Many of us set New Year's Resolutions at the beginning of the year, but the fall seems to be another time when people like to set goals.
"In my last column, I wrote about how I lead groups of volunteers to work with the Kenyan Children Foundation in Africa, and how we all return home exhausted but with our brains refreshed and renewed...."
10 great tips included in the article. Many can be wrapped in mindful practices.