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Personal Insights

Mindfulness and spilled buckets

I find myself able to focus.

I’ve gained this focus through opportunities afforded to me by SAP. I find myself able to focus on how fortunate I am to continue to live and breathe and work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

My focus has developed since starting an SAP Global Mindfulness Practice. Since kicking this off 2 years ago, my practice has gotten me to a stage where I can be more mindful of events, more aware of my reactions to anything and everything that has happened or that may happen, but more importantly more self-aware of what is happening.

My practice began through curiosity – I hit up a local office weekly meditation session set up by 2 mindful colleagues. As soon as I realized it’s “practice” and that you always keep at it, and that you can “begin again” and relish in the notion that you can begin again, I was off to the races!

I am grateful to have this experience to navigate #coronavirus as I believe those of us who practice are in a not-so-super-secret club. One where we talk to ourselves. Sounds cool, right?

I’ve learned to personify my inner thoughts which helps me dig a little deeper as to why they are there. Rather than focusing on anger, or anxiety, or joy, trying to focus on why we have those feelings, I have the capability to fly through the space and time of my mind and say,
“Hey, anxiety! I see you… I see why you’re here. Hang out if you must but really I’m more interested in where you came from…”

… and suddenly anxiety is much more palatable, but then comes:
“Anger! Whoa now.. you’re back. Did you come from the same spot as last time?? I’m going to use my superhero mind meld to figure out how you got up in here…”

… and anger becomes that malleable ball of tightness that resides in the left side of your gut and you can tell what makes it pulse, but then comes:
“Ah the feeling of joy! Joy you’re here and that’s awesome. Let me really consider you as you’re here. I am a lucky muppet to have you here so let me ponder my circumstances…”

… and anxiety, and anger, and joy become things that are a result of a more important thing, and then you realize you’re attributing characteristics to your feelings and talking to them (sometimes out loud) as they bubble up – but you’re not crazy. You’re not crazy. As far as I can tell…

I discussed these “thoughts on thoughts” in a mindfulness-meet-&-munch lunch meeting this week when conversing about #coronavirus and how we use mindfulness in various ways. The metaphor I received in return from a mindfulness mate was,

“I [feel like I] have a mindfulness bucket and I spilled it over my whole life in a good way.”

I love this!

It’s messy and fun and suits the way I practice right now, whenever I can with whatever i’m doing.

Sure, I practice formal meditation most days – and that continues to be extremely worthwhile and beneficial – but it’s the day-to-day “operational” mindfulness that is key right now.

3 deep breaths before a meeting. The ability to see a leaf move in the wind and the notion that my colleague is stressed. Mindful eating. The realization of what that sound really is or the understanding that everything we experience is not permanent or solid. Hearing a sigh and seeing a furrowed brow.
I’m most grateful to my company for investing in my well-being and allowing me to reinvest myself in work.

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